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52 informatics staff members detained over alleged Gülen ties

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Turkish police teams on Tuesday detained 52 people working as informatics staff members at a number of large companies on accusations that they are linked to the faith-based Gülen movement.

As part of the operation, prosecutors issued detention warrants for a total of 105 people across eight Turkish provinces. Detention proceedings for the remaining 53 were under way as of Tuesday morning.

The individuals for whom detention warrants have been issued are working as informatics staff members at companies such as Turkey’s partly state-owned telecom provider, Türk Telekom, Turkish Airlines (THY), the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBİTAK) and Turkish defense contractor Havelsan.

Turkey survived a 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 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.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced on July 7, 2017 that at least 50,504 people have been arrested and 168,801 have been the subject of legal proceedings due to Gülen links.

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