Turkey detains 505 people over Gülen links in past week

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Turkish police detained 505 people between Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 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, the Turkish government launched a witch-hunt targeting the group following the abortive putsch.

Since then, some 140,000 public servants have been dismissed by government decrees and more than 600,000 people investigated on terrorism charges.

The European Commission said in a report on April 17 that since the introduction of a now-ended 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Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Dec. 12, 2017 said 234,419 passports had been revoked as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since the failed coup.

Vice President Fuat Oktay said the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) had appointed trustees to 1,004 companies across 42 provinces as of Oct. 25 over their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

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