4 arrested over Gülen links in Trabzon-based coup probe

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Four people were arrested by a court on Saturday as part of a Trabzon-based investigation targeting followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by Turkish authorities of masterminding a failed coup last year.

Four out of eight detained people, including businessmen, teachers and nurses who were earlier dismissed from their jobs by government decrees, were arrested by a Trabzon court on charges of being supporters of Gülen movement. Four others were released on judicial probation.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 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.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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