Turkey detains more people for Gülen links than ISIL, PKK in one week

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A woman detained as part of operations targeting the members of the Gülen movement.

The Turkish Interior Ministry has announced that a total of 253 operations were conducted in the past week as a result of which 126 people were detained due to alleged links to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), 344 for alleged links to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and 627 were detained due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.

The ministry said the operations were conducted between Jan.2-9.

According to the ministry out of the 344 people detained for alleged PKK links, 129 of them were arrested, while 406 people were arrested in anti-Gülen operations.

The number of people arrested in anti-ISIL operations was not mentioned in the ministry’s statement.

Turkey experienced a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.

Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated 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 and 41,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.

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