Turkish gov’t seizes 25 more companies over Gülen links

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(Photo: Ozge Elif Kizil / Anadolu Agency)

A court in Aydın province on Thursday appointed trustees to the management of 25 companies over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of being behind a failed coup last year, TGRT reported.

In a similar development last week, another court in Aydın appointed trustees to the management of 48 companies, including leading freezer company Uğur, over alleged links the movement.

The Turkish government has been confiscating the private property of non-loyalist businesspeople without due process on unsubstantiated charges of terrorist links.

The companies are alleged to be connected to the Gülen movement.

The government accuses the movement of masterminding the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 even though the movement denies any involvement.

The government’s crackdown on the movement, however, is not limited to the period following the coup attempt since the management of many organizations affiliated with the movement have already been seized over the course of the past three years.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said in July that the government had seized 966 companies from people allegedly linked to the Gülen movement.

“In addition, 4,888 properties of those 966 companies were also seized and transferred to the Finance Ministry,” said Kurtulmuş.

Immediately after the failed coup attempt 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.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 civil servants, including governors, judges, prosecutors, teachers, soldiers and police, since July 15 through government decrees issued as part of the state of emergency.

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