Turkey’s interior minister says over 113K people detained over Gülen links

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ANKARA, TURKEY - JANUARY 11: Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu attends the 9th Ambassadors Conference at JW Marriott Hotel in Ankara, Turkey on January 11, 2017. AFP

A total of 113,260 people have been detained as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since a July 15 coup attempt, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on Sunday.

The government put the blame for the coup attempt on the movement.

Of them, 47,155 were put into pre-trial detention, or what most Turks call arrest, Soylu said. “This is a remarkable figure,” he added.

Some 745 people are still in custody waiting to be either arrested or released whether be under judicial supervision or without an investigation.

The number of those released under judicial supervision has reached 41,499, and 23,861 were freed without any investigation after a brief detention.

Soylu said law enforcement has yet to locate 863 people who face outstanding detention warrants.

Out of 47,155 arrestees, 10,732 are police officers, 7,631 military officers, 2,575 judges and prosecutors, 26,177 civilians and 208 local administrative officials,” the minister stated.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 which killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the 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. (Parts of this story first appeared on TurkeyPurge.com)

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