Turkish police have raided 44 companies and are seeking the arrest of 120 company executives as part of an investigation into last month’s failed coup, according to reports in the state media.
The companies in Istanbul targeted by prosecutors are suspected of channeling funds to the Hizmet Movement. The coordinated raids, backed up by riot police, took place in the Uskudar and Umraniye districts of eastern Istanbul. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed earlier this month to root out businesses, schools and charities linked to Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
Any purge of businesses in Turkey risks alienating foreign investors. Ratings agency S&P downgraded its credit rating for Turkey last month, and Germany’s trade association warned against new investment in the country.
Turkish authorities have already targeted high-profile businesses as part of the coup investigation. Three executives at Boydak Holding, one of Turkey’s largest conglomerates, were detained as part of the crackdown. The group has interests in energy and finance as well as furniture.
Since the failed coup Turkey has witnessed a purge of the military and public services. An estimated 26,000 people have been detained and 82,000 dismissed or suspended. On Monday police raided three Istanbul courthouses searching for 173 judicial officials.