A total of 45 people including teachers and academics were taken into custody on Wednesday as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a July 15 coup attempt.
The state-run Anadolu news agency reported that 15 academics who had earlier been sacked by universities on suspicion of links to the movement were detained in a Bartın-based operation that included police raids in Karabük, Isparta and Kocaeli provinces.
Meanwhile, 30 other academics and teachers were detained in a separate investigation into the movement in the Central Anatolian province of Çorum the same day.
A total 19,828 academics have been dismissed, stripped of the right to teach at universities or have become unemployed due to the closure of their universities by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government since the failed coup attempt on July 15, BBC Turkish reported on Sunday.
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 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 120,000 people have been purged from state bodies, nearly 80,000 detained and some 40,000 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. (Turkey Purge)