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15 military officers using pay phones arrested over alleged Gülen links

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Nine active-duty and six former military officers who were detained along with five others last week as part of an operation against alleged followers of the Gülen movement were arrested on Thursday on terrorism charges, the Diken news website has reported.

Five military officers were released on judicial probation.

The military officers under arrest are accused of secretly communicating via pay phone, a method that Turkish prosecutors believe is a means of communicating with the Gülen movement.

The military officers were detained last week in simultaneous operations across 12 provinces as part of an investigation conducted by the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

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 followers of the movement under the pretext of an anti-coup fight as a result of which more than 150,000 people were removed from state jobs while in excess of 50,000 others were jailed and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.

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