Minister says 1,094 cases filed against Gülen followers since coup attempt

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Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced on Wednesday that a total of 1,094 cases have been launched as a result of investigations into members of the faith-based Gülen movement since a failed coup attempt on July 15.

Speaking to the TVNET channel, Bozdağ said the number of cases would increase following the completion of indictments for individuals who face charges of membership in a terrorist organization because they are followers of the Gülen movement.

The Turkish government refers to the movement as a terror organization despite the lack of any court decision to this effect or terrorist activity on the part of the movement.

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 43,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.

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