Slain soldier’s father, uncle among 4 people arrested over Gülen links

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The father and uncle of a soldier who was killed during clashes with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey’s Southeast last year are among four people arrested in the western province of Denizli on Thursday as part of an operation against the faith-based Gülen movement.

Pvt. Ömer Kağan Kandemir, 21, was killed in Şırnak by the PKK last July.

Kandemir’s father Ergun and uncle Aydın were detained in Denizli’s Çivril district last week along with 18 others over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

The detainees were remanded to court on Thursday. Four of them, including Ergun and Aydın Kandemir, were arrested by the court while the other suspects were released.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and the Development Party (AKP) government have been pursuing a witch-hunt against people who are sympathetic to Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen since corruption investigations became public knowledge Dec. 17-25, 2013. The process turned into an all-out war against Gülen sympathizers following a failed coup attempt on July 15 as the government accuses the movement of masterminding it despite the absence of any evidence to that effect.

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