Turkey detains 478 people in past week over Gülen links

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Turkish police detained 478 people between Oct. 22 and Oct. 29 as part of its post-coup crackdown targeting followers of the Gülen movement, according to a statement by the Turkish Interior Ministry on Monday.

A total of 19,708 people had been detained over Gülen links by the end of September, the statement added.

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 coup attempt in July 2016.

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

According to the TurkeyPurge.com website, the total number of people dismissed after the 2016 coup attempt now exceeds 170,000.

The European Commission said in a report on April 17 that since the introduction of a state of emergency on July 20, 2016, over 150,000 people were taken into custody and 78,000 were arrested.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Dec. 12, 2017 said 234,419 passports had been revoked as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since the failed coup.

On Nov. 16, 2017 Soylu said eight holdings and 1,020 companies were seized as part of operations against the movement.

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