A total of 359 individuals have so far been ordered by Turkish courts to wear electronic ankle bracelets due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
Started in 2013 with 15 arrestees, the project of outfitting arrestees with electronic ankle bracelets is now up to 3,000 individuals, 359 of whom are Gülenists, who are monitored round the clock by an İstanbul-based monitoring center.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu news agency, Turkey’s general director of prisons and houses of detention, Enis Yavuz Yıldırım, stated that the center has the capacity to monitor up to 5,000 people.
“We have been monitoring 359 people as part of the investigation into FETÖ. We have also successfully completed monitoring 312 others in the past couple of months,” Yıldırım said.
“FETÖ,” or the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization, is a derogatory term coined by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to refer to the Gülen movement, a global civil society movement inspired by Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of being the mastermind of the failed coup.
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 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.
Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, 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.
According to a statement from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on April 2, a total of 113,260 people have been detained as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since the July 15 coup attempt, while 47,155 were put into pre-trial detention. (Turkey Purge)