831 detained in one week in witch hunt targeting Gülen movement

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The Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Monday that a total of 831 people were detained in the past week as part of an ongoing witch hunt carried out by the Turkish government against followers of the faith-based Gülen movement.

Turkey survived a military 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 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.

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

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

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