Turkey orders detention of 108 lawyers over Gülen links

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The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Friday ordered the detention of 108 lawyers along with 18 others as part of a post-coup crackdown targeting followers of the Gülen movement, Reuters reported.

The Turkish government accuses the movement of orchestrating a 2016 failed coup attempt, although it strongly denies any involvement.

The addresses of 12 of the suspects could not be determined or records showed they had left the country, the statement issued by the prosecutor’s office said, adding that operations spread over 37 provinces to detain the remaining 114 people were continuing.

In a separate operation on Friday, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office said it had ordered the detention of 18 suspects accused of links to the Gülen movement who were working as engineers for the defense industry company Havelsan.

More than 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial since the coup, and widespread arrests are still routine. Authorities have suspended or sacked 150,000 civil servants and military personnel. Turkey’s Western allies have criticized the crackdown, with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s critics accusing him of using the abortive putsch as a pretext to quash dissent. Turkish authorities say the measures are necessary to combat threats to national security.

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