24 employees of Işık Publications arrested over alleged Gülen links

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Twenty-four out of 41 people who were detained in operations on March 7 have been arrested over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Işık Publications, which was closed down in the aftermath of the failed coup, used to publish religious books and books penned by Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

The detentions of Işık employees were part of an İstanbul-based operation conducted across four provinces. Thirteen of the employees have been released on judicial probation, while four of them were released pending trial by an İstanbul court.

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.

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.

Soylu said on Dec. 12 that 55,665 people have been jailed and 234,419 passports have been revoked as part of investigations into the movement since the failed coup.

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