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Former head of Erzincan Bar Association, lawyer detained in anti-Gülen operation

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Former President of the Erzican Bar Association Cemallettin Özer and a lawyer were detained in Erzincan on Tuesday as part of an investigation into the faith-based Gülen movement.

Özer and the lawyer, identified as Talip N., were detained in their homes by the police, who conducted searches of the apartments, offices and cars of both detainees.

Özer and Talip N. were taken to the Erzican Police Station for interrogation.

Turkey experienced a 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, who inspired the movement, 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.

The government refers to the Gülen movement as FETÖ, which stands for Fethullahist Terror Organization. Despite the fact that the government calls the movement a terrorist organization, a high criminal court in Hatay province in early October rejected an indictment on alleged members of FETÖ, saying that there is no such terrorist organization officially identified.






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