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Interior Ministry: 616 detained in one week over Gülen links

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The Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Monday that 616 people have been detained in one week due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a botched coup attempt last summer.

The ministry said seven people have been detained over the past week on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda on social media after investigations were launched into 682 social media users and the identities of 255 were confirmed.

The posts allegedly disseminated terrorist propaganda and praised terrorist organizations as well as provoking people to hatred, revenge and enmity and insulting state authorities.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President 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’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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