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Turkey orders detention of 61 in post-coup crackdown targeting Gülen movement

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Turkish prosecutors on Friday ordered the detention of 61 people, including military members, as part of a massive post-coup crackdown targeting faith-based Gülen movement followers.

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

The İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 20 military members over Gülen links, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The report said 17 of the suspects are on active duty, while three were suspended in administrative investigations.

The prosecutor accused the suspects of using pay phones to maintain their alleged ties with the Gülen movement.

The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office also issued detention warrants for 29 people on allegations of Gülen links.

The suspects are accused of using ByLock, a smartphone application that was believed to have been used among Gülen movement followers.

Meanwhile police in Samsun detained 14 people, including soldiers, former public servants, doctors and students, after the issuance of detention warrants for 12 people on suspicion of Gülen links.

According to the report two suspects sought by the prosecutor in another investigation were also taken into custody.

Over half a million people have been subjected to prosecution for alleged membership in the Gülen movement, according to the Justice Ministry.

Large-scale detentions have been ongoing for the last three years.

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