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Gülen-linked couple in detention allegedly pressured to become informers

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Adem and Birsen Erdoğdu, a couple who both suffer from heart problems, have been kept in detention for nine days in Sakarya province and are being pressured to become informers against followers of the Gülen movement, the aktifhaber news portal reported on Thursday.

The couple was reportedly jailed in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement and was released after spending months in jail.

However, they were detained again nine days ago in Balıkesir’s Edremit district. The couple has three children.

According to aktifhaber, police officers used force to detain Adem Erdoğan in front of his children. The children are now being taken care of by their grandparents.

Both Adem and Birsen Erdoğdu suffer from heart problems and regularly take medication for their condition but have been unable to get their medicine since the day they were detained.

The military coup attempt killed 249 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep 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.

Amid an ongoing witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Jan. 5 said 48,305 people were jailed in 2017 alone over Gülen movement links.

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