A former police chief who served as security manager for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan when he was prime minister has been arrested in Antalya over his alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.
Maksut Karal is being charged with membership in a terrorist organization and involvement in activities on behalf of a terrorist organization.
Karal was forced to retire under a government decree dated Oct.29. He was recently detained.
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.
Turkey’s unprecedented witch-hunt had resulted in the imprisonment of 41,752 people as of Dec. 30, according to the tally of turkeypurge.com while 135,356 people have been removed from public sector jobs since July 15.