1,218 detained, 572 arrested in anti-Gülen operations in one week

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A total of 1,218 people were detained, with 572 of them put under arrest, in operations targeting the faith-based Gülen movement over the past week, according to a statement from Turkey’s Interior Ministry on Monday.

The detentions and arrests took place between Jan. 16 and 23.

In operations targeting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Turkish police detained 75 people, with one of them arrested, over the past week, the ministry said.

As a result of operations targeting left-wing terror organizations, the ministry said 33 suspects had been detained and one of them arrested in the same period.

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 135,000 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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