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[UPDATE] 153 including 62 military members, 17 Prime Ministry staff sought over Gülen links

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Detention warrants were issued on Friday for 153 people across Turkey as part of investigations into the faith-based Gülen movement, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The Mersin Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 32 military members over alleged Gülen movement links.

The Siirt Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 30 military personnel of varying ranks. Twenty-four of them have been detained in operations across 23 provinces, while six are still at large.

Fourteen people have been detained in Ankara as part of an investigation pursued by the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office into the Gülen movement. Seventeen former Prime Ministry employees and three Justice Ministry staff members were sought by the prosecutor’s office. Six people are still at large.

The İstanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants 56 people over alleged links to the Gülen movement. Police have launched operations across 19 provinces to detain suspects.

Ten people have been detained by police as part of an investigation initiated by the Hatay Public Prosecutor’s Office. A total of 15 people are being sought by the prosecutor for using a mobile application called ByLock.

Turkish authorities believe ByLock is a communication tool among followers of the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of orchestrating an attempted coup of July 15, 2016, a claim strongly denied by the movement.

Thousands of military members have been purged and detained in the witch-hunt carried out against the Gülen movement since the failed coup.

Amid the ongoing witch-hunt, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Nov. 16 said 48,739 people had been jailed and eight holdings and 1,020 companies seized as part of operations against the movement.

The Turkish 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 on July 15, 2016.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15 of last year through government decrees issued as part of an ongoing state of emergency.

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