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Turkish public workers using pay phones to be investigated over Gülen links

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Turkey’s Interior Ministry and Justice Ministry are working together to find draw up a list of public workers who made consecutive calls to the same number from pay phones so that legal action can be taken against them for alleged links to the Gülen movement, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Tuesday.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Following the coup attempt, the Turkish government launched a massive crackdown on the followers of the movement under the pretext of anti-coup fight as a result of which more than 150,000 people were removed from state jobs while more than 50,000 others were jailed.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have already launched investigations into officers who used pay phones and have expelled many of them over alleged Gülen links.

Turkish authorities believe Gülen followers in the TSK or public agencies used pay phones as a means of communication among themselves, fearing that their mobile phones could be tapped.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu recently said his ministry along with the Justice Ministry was working on yet another measure to identify Gülen followers in the bureaucracy, without elaborating, and said when their work is done, there would be more relief in the fight against the Gülen movement.

Cumhuriyet said Soylu was referring to the investigations to be launched into the users of pay phones.

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