A total of 24 people including former police officers as well as employees of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBİTAK) and Turkish defense company ROKETSAN were detained on Wednesday over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.
Simultaneous raids were conducted across six provinces on Wednesday morning as part of an İzmir-based operation conducted by the Ödemiş Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office to detain 34 people for whom detention warrants were issued. Twenty-four of the suspects were detained while police teams search for the remaining 10 individuals.
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.
Over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement since the coup attempt, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of Feb. 1, 89,775 people were being held without charge, with an additional 43,885 in pre-trial detention due to their alleged links to the movement.