Two more members of the Boydak family, prominent industrialists from the Central Anatolian town of Kayseri, were arrested in İstanbul on Tuesday, with Bekir Boydak jailed and his nephew, Mahmut Sami, put under house arrest, on charges of financing terrorism.
A senior family figure had reported their detention earlier on Tuesday as part of an investigation into 380 businesspeople in Turkey. Forty-two businesspeople were arrested today, including the two Boydak family members, in a relentless purge Turkey has been conducting over links to the Gülen movement.
Mustafa Boydak announced on Twitter on Tuesday that his older son Mahmut Sami and his brother Bekir have been in detention for the last six days. He added that they will soon present their defense in court and called on people for a prayer of hope.
At least three leading members of the Boydak family have been imprisoned on charges of terrorism and coup plotting, stemming from alleged links to the Gülen movement. The government seized Boydak Holding, which is among Turkey’s largest industrialist groups.
Brothers Hacı, Memduh and Bekir Boydak had been let out of prison in November to attend their mother’s funeral, but they were brought to the service in handcuffs, attracting widespread criticism. She had fallen ill after her three sons were arrested and was being treated at a Kayseri hospital.
They face accusations as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, against which the Turkish government has been waging an all-out war, claiming that it masterminded a failed coup attempt in July.
The Boydak brothers’ nephews, İlyas and Murat Boydak, who are also in jail as part of the same investigation, were also let out of prison to attend their grandmother’s funeral.
Boydak Holding is active in a number of sectors, including energy, furniture and banking with 38 subsidiary companies. According to its website, it has an annual turnover of more than TL 6 billion ($2 billion) and employs over 13,000 people.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others.
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 Recep Tayyip 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.
As of Jan. 10, 135,356 people had been purged from state bodies and over 42,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.