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Detention warrants issued for 48 more people over Gülen links

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Turkish prosecutors have issued detention warrants for a total of 48 people across 21 provinces due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, the state run Anadolu news agency reported.

The Sivas Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 22 people in 17 provinces on suspicion that they are part of the military branch of Gülen movement. Ten of 22 suspects have been detained while 12 are still at large.

In a similar development the Adıyaman Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has issues detention warrants for 26 people in four provinces over alleged links to the Gülen movement. Seventeen of the 26 were detained during operations on Tuesday. Nine people are still at large.

The 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 a failed coup in July 2016.

The Gülen movement is accused by the Turkish government of mounting the attempted coup last year, but the movement strongly denies any involvement.

In the meantime, 12 of 26 noncommissioned officers who were detained as part of an Amasya-based operation were arrested by a court, while 14 were released on judicial probation. Fifty-one noncommissioned officers were detained as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement; 25 of them are still in police custody.

One hundred thirty generals and admirals in the Turkish military were either dismissed or suspended as part of a widespread purge following the failed coup attempt in July 2016.
The government has been at the center of criticism for turning the Turkish forces into a political Islamist military in line with the wishes of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

In February Defense Minister Işık said 30,000 new recruits would be enlisted in the Turkish military.

A month later Işık declared that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government had dismissed a total of 22,920 military personnel (6,511 officers and 16,409 cadets) after the coup attempt although the Turkish military stated on July 27 that only 8,651 military members including cadets and conscripts took part in the failed coup.

The Cumhuriyet daily reported in March that the government planned to investigate 90,000 more military personnel over links to the Gülen movement.

“If it was a coup perpetrated by the Gülen movement and 22,920 military personnel were dismissed for their connections to the movement as Erdoğan and the government assert, why did only 8,651 military members participate in the coup?” is a question being asked by critics.

In February, Henri Barkey, director of the Middle East Program at the Washington-based Wilson Center, said that many generals purged by the Turkish government are pro-NATO and pro-American, saying this could create a shift in Turkey-NATO relations.

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