Twelve academics and staff members from Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University were detained on Thursday over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, which Turkish authorities accuse of being behind a failed coup last July.
As part of an investigation by the Muğla Public Prosecutor’s Office, police raided the houses of the suspects on Thursday and detained 12 of them, while two others are still being sought.
On July 15 of last year, a group of rebel soldiers attempted a military coup that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others.
Strongly denying any role in the putsch, Fethullah Gülen, whose views inspired the Gülen 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.
In the currently ongoing post-coup purge, over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of March 1, 93,248 people were being held without charge, with an additional 46,274 in pre-trial detention.
A total of 7,316 academics were dismissed and 4,070 judges and prosecutors were purged over alleged coup involvement or terrorist links.