537 detained in one week over alleged Gülen links

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The Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Monday that 537 people have been detained in the past week due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The Interior Ministry announced on March 12 that 740 people had been taken into custody the previous week due to alleged links to the movement.

Turkish police detained a total of 4,725 people over alleged links to the movement in the first two months of 2018.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government pursued a crackdown on the Gülen movement following corruption operations in December 2013 in which the inner circle of the government and then-Prime Minister Erdoğan were implicated.

Erdoğan also accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.

Despite the movement strongly denying involvement in the failed coup, Erdoğan launched a witch-hunt targeting the movement following the putsch.

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

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Jan. 5 said 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Soylu said on Dec. 12 that 55,665 people have been jailed and 234,419 passports have been revoked as part of investigations into the movement since the failed coup.

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

The number of people who have been investigated for alleged ties to the faith-based Gülen movement reached 402,000 in March, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on March 15.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and other civil servants since July 15, 2016 through government decrees issued as part of an ongoing state of emergency declared after the coup attempt.

 

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