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Turkish interior minister: 55,665 jailed, 234,419 passports revoked over Gülen links

Turkish Minister of Interior, Suleyman Soylu. AFP PHOTOS

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Tuesday said 55,665 people have been jailed and 234,419 passports have been revoked as part of investigations into the faith-based Gülen movement since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, DHA reported.

According to the report, speaking at a security seminar in İstanbul Soylu said 29,261 people have been dismissed, 14,754 suspended and a total of 44,000 people working for the Interior Ministry investigated. A total of 7,602 people were returned to their posts.

Soylu also said 23,171 of 102,596 people who have been identified as using the ByLock mobile phone application have thus far been investigated.

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

Soylu also called on police inspectors to give priority to investigations into the Gülen movement.

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

The Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people had 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 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15, 2016 through government decrees issued as part of an ongoing state of emergency.

According to Ministry of Justice data, there are currently 384 prisons with a capacity of 207,279 in Turkey; however, the total number of inmates was 228,983 as of October 2017.

The Ministry of Justice plans to build 228 new prisons in Turkey with a capacity of 137,687 in the next five years.

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