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702 detained in one week over alleged Gülen links

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A total of 702 people have been detained in the past week due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, the Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Monday.

Police detained 20 people, including six women, in four provinces on Sunday as part of investigations into the Gülen movement carried out by the Adana Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Some 1,034 people, including 274 members of the military, have been taken into custody in the first two weeks of April due to suspected links to the movement, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

One hundred twenty-five of the detainees were arrested by a court on charges of membership in the Gülen movement and placed in pretrial detention.

Turkish police detained a total of 8,188 people over alleged links to the movement in the first three 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.


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