A huge cleansing of Turkey’s state and other institutions is continuing as people from all walks of life find themselves being hunted down and taken into custody.
At least 124 people were arrested while 357 others were detained on Thursday, according to Turkish news agencies.
Police carried out the operations in 39 provinces across Turkey. With most of the arrestees being academics, those arrested over the past day also included police officers, businessmen, teachers, public workers, small business owners, prison guards, doctors, university personnel and students, a mobile developer and a deputy governor.
Among those detained are police officers, teachers and small business owners.
The victims of Thursday operations carried out as part of the massive purge have been added to the already-enormous group of people who have been either detained or arrested since July 15.
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 government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
More than 100,000 people have been purged from state bodies, 70,000 investigated and 32,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees included journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.
Critics argue that lists of Gülen sympathizers were drawn up prior to the coup attempt.