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AKP mayor, wife detained in Burdur over Gülen links

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The mayor of the Bucak Municipality in the southern province of Burdur, Süleyman Mutlu, who is from the Justice and Development Party (AKP), and his wife were detained on Monday over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.

Police teams detained Mutlu at the municipal building in Bucak while his wife Mine was detained at the couple’s house.

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 110,000 people have been purged from state bodies, 82,000 detained and 35,000 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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