Turkish businessman arrested over Gülen links dies of heart attack in jail

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One of the owners of Uğur Cooling, Ünal Takmaklı, 77, who was jailed on July 28 as part of an ongoing crackdown on followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, died of a heart attack in prison on Tuesday.

Takmaklı was detained in the western province of Aydın and subsequently arrested.

He was incarcated in Menemen Prison in İzmir. As part of the same investigation, Takmaklı’s two brothers were also arrested.

Although the businessman was taken to a hospital, doctors were unable to save his life.

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, whose views 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 115,000 people have been purged from state bodies, in excess of 90,000 detained and over 39,000 have been arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian. Critics argue that lists of Gülen sympathizers were drawn up prior to the coup attempt.

 

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