[UPDATE] Interpol denies reports Turkey’s access to database blocked

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Interpol on Wednesday denied reports claiming that the international police organization blocked Ankara’s access to its database after Turkey last year attempted to upload a wanted list of 60,000 followers of the Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a coup in July 2016.

Speaking to BBC Turkish service on Wednesday, an Interpol spokesperson said: “Interpol supports all 190 member states as part of cooperation among police organizations. There is no ban on Turkey’s access to the Interpol database, including searches for people who are the subject of international search warrants.”

According to a report on the Diken news website early Wednesday, Interpol had said Turkey’s list was too long and that it could pose a security problem when the attempt to upload it was made by Ankara almost a year ago.

Turkey has been trying to change Interpol’s decision for a year and said Interpol was informed about investigations into the wanted people, the report said.

Prosecutors, NATO staff, military officers, journalists, policemen and bureaucrats are on Turkey’s wanted list.

The Turkish government is particularly targeting followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, accusing it of orchestrating the failed coup attempt.

The movement denies any involvement. However, the Turkish 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.

A total of 154,694 people have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt.

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