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Detention warrants issued for 162 courthouse employees over links to Gülen

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Turkish prosecutors issued detention warrants for a total of 162 courthouse and prison employees in İstanbul on Friday due to their alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.

İstanbul police raided the Çağlayan, Gaziosmanpaşa and Küçükçekmece courthouses on Friday after detention warrants were issued for 87 people working in these courthouses on the grounds that they were “working in accordance with the goals of the Gülen movement, using the ByLock application and having a bank account in Bank Asya, which was seized by the government, and financing the movement.”

The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office also issued detention warrants for 75 people including prison wardens, sociologists and pedagogues who work in the Silivri, Metris and Bakırköy prisons. Police raided and searched homes of the 75 people on Friday morning.

Previously, 293 people working at courthouses were detained and 50 others were arrested over links to the Gülen movement.

Turkey experienced 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 the lack of any evidence to that effect.

Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup despite the lack of any tangible evidence.

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, 32,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.

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