74 arrested, 147 detained over coup charges on Saturday

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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 74 people were arrested, while 147 others were detained on Saturday, according to Turkish news agencies.

Police carried out the operations in 19 provinces across Turkey. With most of the arrestees being police officers, those arrested over the past day also included teachers and university personnel.

Among those detained are businessmen, an engineer, midwives, a veterinarian, teachers, small business owners, imams, police officers, hospital personnel, academics and civil servants.

The victims of Saturday 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, nearly 43,000 detained and 32,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include 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.

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