Forty-seven people including military officers and a deputy governor were arrested in separate operations targeting the faith-based Gülen movement in İstanbul and Ankara on Thursday.
Twenty-seven people, among them military officers and pilots from the Akıncı 4th Air Base, were arrested as part of an investigation carried out by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. They are accused of being linked to the Gülen movement and taking part in a failed military coup on July 15.
In İstanbul 20 individuals including military officers and a deputy governor were arrested on charges of establishing a terror organization and membership in a terror organization.
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 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. 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 and 32,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.