Qatari police detain Turkish family members linked to Gülen movement

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DOHA, QATAR - FEBRUARY 15: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (L) shake hands during an official welcoming ceremony in Doha, Qatar on February 15, 2017. AFP

Qatari police detained five members of a Turkish family who are linked to the faith-based Gülen movement while the family was on their way to South Africa, the yenihamle.com news website reported on Monday.

The detainees are members of the Bayındır family, businessman father Muhammed, mother Fadime and daughters Eslem, Kübra and Feyza.

The members of the Turkish family were detained while they were at the airport in Doha waiting for a connecting flight to South Africa.

This is not the first time a foreign country has detained or deported people over their links to the Gülen movement as part of the Turkish government’s witch-hunt against movement followers.

In May Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Georgia and Myanmar handed over academics, businessmen and school principals upon the Turkish government’s request despite the fact that some of those victims already had refugee status with the UN.

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

The movement and Fethullah Gülen, a US-based Islamic scholar whose views inspired the movement, strongly denies any involvement.

President Erdoğan earlier called on foreign governments to punish Gülen followers in their own countries.

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