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Turkey arrests 33 members of Kimse Yok Mu aid foundation over Gülen ties

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Thirty-three out of 40 members of the Kimse Yok Mu aid foundation who were referred to court on Wednesday were arrested on Friday as part of an İstanbul investigation targeting the faith-based Gülen movement.

Seven of the detainees were released after testifying to the court.

Detention warrants were issued last week for 121 people including former Kimse Yok Mu chairman İsmail Cingöz by the Anatolia Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Forty-six people were detained, six of whom were released after their interrogation by the police, while 40 were referred to court for arrest on Wednesday.

The Kimse Yok Mu Foundation, which was closed down by a government decree in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15, used to function as the corporate body of aid and relief activities for the Gülen movement, taking relief to millions of people around Turkey and the world.

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, nearly 70,000 detained and 32,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.

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