Police detain anonymous Turkish couple who appeared on Finnish TV

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An anonymous Turkish couple who appeared in a Finnish TV documentary about the Gülen movement were detained by police for “disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist organization,” the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday.

According to the report, Istanbul police launched an investigation when the couple appeared in a Finnish TV documentary talking about the living conditions of people who are sought by police over their links to the faith-based Gülen movement. Despite the fact that the couple hid their identities during the interview, police located them by identifying the neighborhood seen in the window behind the couple during filming.

Police detained Serdar A., a math teacher at a school closed by the government for links to the Gülen movement who was subsequently dismissed by a state of emergency decree, and his wife, Merve A.

Serdar A. was arrested on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist organization” by an İstanbul court, while his wife was released.

The Gülen movement is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The movement strongly denies any involvement.

The Interior Ministry announced on Monday that 623 people had been detained in one week due to alleged links to the Gülen movement, bringing the total number of people taken into custody in January to 2,426.

A total of 62,895 people were detained in 2017 as part of investigations into the movement, according to Interior Ministry reports.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Jan. 5 that 48,305 people were jailed in 2017 alone over Gülen movement links.

Soylu said on Dec. 12 that 55,665 people have been jailed and 234,419 passports have been revoked as part of investigations into the movement since the failed coup.

Soylu on Nov. 16 had said eight holdings and 1,020 companies were seized as part of operations against the movement.

The Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 169,013 people 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 through government decrees issued as part of an ongoing state of emergency declared after the coup attempt.

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