7 academics at Yıldız Teknik University arrested over Gülen links

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Seven academics, five of whom are professors at the İstanbul-based Yıldız Teknik University, have been arrested on charges of alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.

The academics are charged with membership in an armed terror organization.

Dozens of academics at the university were detained last month as part of an ongoing crackdown on the Gülen movement.

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.

The government refers to the Gülen movement as a terror organization despite lack of any court decision to that effect.

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