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13 housewives detained in Tokat for organizing fundraiser for students in need

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Thirteen housewives were detained in the central province of Tokat on Thursday for organizing a fundraising event for low-income students under the umbrella of a foundation linked to the faith-based Gülen movement.

The housewives were detained by the Tokat Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Turhal district of Tokat as part of an operation against the Refia Women’s Foundation.

The women were sent to the Turhal Courthouse for interrogation.

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. Despite Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the movement having denied the accusation, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched 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 75,000 detained and 34,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors, housewives and even a comedian.

Critics argue that lists of Gülen sympathizers were drawn up prior to the coup attempt.

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