Interior Ministry says 966 detained in anti-Gülen operations since March 13

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A total of 966 people were detained 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 March 13 and 20.

In operations targeting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Turkish police detained 70 people over the past week, the ministry said.

As a result of operations targeting the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the ministry said 999 suspects were detained, while police teams detained 28 other suspects in operations targeting left-wing terror organizations.

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.

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.

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