Detention warrants issued for 80 in Ankara over Gülen links

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The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Friday issued detention warrants for 80 people over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Detention warrants were issued for 46 people on the grounds that they stole questions from an examination for the Police Academy, while warrants were issued for 34 employees of the Ministry of Family and Social Affairs on claims that they stole a question in an exam administered by the ministry in 2011.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President 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.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and other civil servants since July 2016. Turkey’s interior minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665 people have been arrested. On December 13, the Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

A total of 48,305 people were arrested by courts across Turkey in 2017 over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Dec. 2, 2017. “The number of detentions is nearly three times higher,” Soylu told a security meeting in İstanbul and claimed that “even these figures are not enough to reveal the severity of the issue.”

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