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President of Siirt Bar Association detained on coup charges

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Siirt Bar Association President Mehmet Cemal Acar was detained on Wednesday as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a failed coup attempt in July.

Police raided Acar’s house and office on Wednesday morning and subsequently detained him. Detention warrants were also issued for eight other individuals, some of whom are prison guards at Siirt Prison.

On Tuesday a total of six lawyers, among them president of the Trabzon Bar Association Orhan Öngöz, were also detained as part of the investigation into the Gülen movement.

Turkey has detained 43,000 people and arrested 24,000 over their links to the movement. Among those imprisoned are judges, prosecutors, journalists, writers, police and military officers, academics, businessmen, doctors and court personnel.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Despite Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the movement having denied the accusation and calling for an international investigation, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

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