Sixty military officers in 32 of Turkey’s provinces were detained on Wednesday as part of an operation targeting alleged followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
As part of the operation based in Konya, the Konya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for a total of 70 officers, of whom 60 have been detained so far. The detainees, who include military physicians, pilots and officers from the Presidential Guard Regiment, are accused of membership in an armed terror organization, violating the Constitution and revolting against the government.
The military coup attempt on July 15 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.
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 report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup.