Turkish security forces on Sunday detained 39 people including 26 active duty and retired members of the Turkish military and academics as part of an investigation into the faith-based Gülen movement, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Twenty-five officers were detained in operations in 19 provinces as part of a Kars-based investigation. A noncommissioned officer who was sought by the Manisa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office was detained in Eskişehir.
Eleven people including academics who were sought by the Ağrı and Artvin chief public prosecutor’s offices were detained by police in Trabzon.
Two suspects were detained in Karabük and Antalya provinces as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.
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.
The European Commission (EC) on April 17 called on the Turkish government to “lift the state of emergency without delay,” saying that widespread dismissals, arrests and detentions continue to raise serious concerns.
Citing “the broad scale and collective nature, and the disproportionality of measures,” the EC in its “2018 Report on Turkey” said: “Since the introduction of the state of emergency, over 150 000 people were taken into custody, 78 000 were arrested and over 110 000 civil servants were dismissed whilst, according to the authorities, some 40 000 were reinstated of which some 3 600 by decree.”
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Dec. 12, 2017 said that 234,419 passports have been revoked as part of investigations into the movement since the failed coup.
On Nov. 16, 2017 Soylu had said eight holdings and 1,020 companies were seized as part of operations against the movement.