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Detention warrants issued for 93 people over links to Gülen movement

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Courts in İstanbul and Ankara issued detention warrants on Friday for a total of 93 people, including 33 Capital Markets Board (SPK) employees, as part of a government witch-hunt against the faith-based Gülen movement, which Turkish authorities accuse of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Ten SPK employees were detained, eight were released pending trial and 15 others were still being sought on 33 warrants issued as part of an investigation conducted by the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Meanwhile, 20 people were detained out of 60 for whom detention warrants were issued as part of an investigation by the İstanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office into Gülen followers over use of ByLock, a smart phone application that authorities believe is a communication tool between members of the Gülen movement.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

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 March 23, 94,982 people were being held without charge, with an additional 47,128 in pre-trial detention due to their alleged links to the movement. A total of 7,317 academics were purged as well as 4,272 judges and prosecutors, who were dismissed due to alleged involvement in the July 15 coup attempt.

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