Detention warrants were issued for a total of 101 teachers and principals on Thursday in İstanbul, targeting alleged followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup on July 15, 2016, the t24 news website reported.
Nine of the teachers and principals have been suspended, and 94 were fired in a purge carried out by the government following the coup attempt.
Seventy-four of the 101 have been detained and taken to İstanbul police headquarters, while the search for the other 27 continues.
On Wednesday a Turkish court handed down a prison sentence of 11 years to Hasan Günay, a teacher, on charges of membership in the faith-based Gülen movement.
Günay was working at the private Yamanlar College, which was closed down by the government following the coup attempt over alleged Gülen links; sent his children to schools linked to the movement; had a bank account in Bank Asya, which was confiscated by the government following the coup attempt; and used a smart phone application known as Bylock, which were all mentioned as evidence of his affiliation with the Gülen movement by the İzmir 13th High Criminal Court.
The Turkish government calls the Gülen movement, which promotes educational activities and interreligious dialogue across the world, an “armed terrorist organization” despite the fact that the movement has not been involved in any acts of violence.
Immediately after the failed coup attempt on July 15, 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 attempt.