4 detained in latest gov’t-led operation targeting Gülen movement

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Four people were detained as part of a government-initiated operation targeting the Gülen movement — a grassroots initiative comprising people inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen — in Kayseri.

Detention warrants were issued for a total of five people, however, one suspect could not be detained due to being abroad.

Four detainees – identified by initials N.S., N.S., M.K. and A.A. – were revealed to be board members of Kılıçarslan Education Association in Kayseri.

Twenty-seven people, who were detained in Trabzon as part of a similar operation earlier, were also released late on Wednesday.

The detentions were carried out on suspicion of being a member of the so-called the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure (FETÖ/PDY),” which is used by the government-backed judiciary to frame sympathizers of the Gülen movement.

Since a corruption investigation came to public attention on Dec. 17, 2013, there have been many similar police operations carried out targeting shopkeepers, teachers, members of the judiciary, journalists and police officers who are accused of being affiliated with the Gülen movement, which is also known as the Hizmet movement. The graft probe implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, members of his family and senior Justice and Development Party (AK Party) figures.

Erdoğan accused the Gülen movement of plotting to overthrow his government and said that sympathizers of the movement within the police department had fabricated the graft scandal. Since then, hundreds of police officers have been detained and some arrested for alleged illegal activity in the course of the corruption investigation. Erdoğan said he would carry out a “witch hunt” against anyone with links to the movement. The Gülen movement strongly rejects the allegations brought against it.

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