Detention warrants issued on Thursday for 14 health ministry staff

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The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday issued detention warrants for 14 current and former staff members of the Health Ministry as part of an investigation into the faith-based Gülen movement, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

According to the report, seven of the 14 people including four current staff members have been detained in police operations. Eight were previously dismissed from their jobs following a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, while two had retired.

Turkish 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 the failed coup in 2016.

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

According to a European Commission (EC) report on April 17, “since the introduction of the state of emergency on July 20,2016, over 150 000 people were taken into custody, 78 000 were arrested and over 110 000 civil servants were dismissed.”

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Dec. 12, 2017 that 234,419 passports had been revoked as part of investigations into the movement since the failed coup.

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