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Turkey orders detention of 168 as part of post-coup crackdown on Gülen movement

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Turkish prosecutors in İzmir, Konya and Ankara provinces issued detention warrants for 168 people as part of a post-coup crackdown targeting followers of the faith-based Gülen movement.

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

The İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday ordered the detention of 87 people, including active duty and dismissed soldiers, over Gülen links, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Police raided houses in 30 provinces, and at least 68 suspects, including a colonel and a lieutenant colonel, were taken into custody.

Twenty-two of the suspects were civilians who were accused of using ByLock, a smartphone application Turkish prosecutors believe was used among Gülen followers, or depositing “a suspicious amount of money” in Bank Asya, a financial institution affiliated with the movement, the report said.

The Konya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office also issued detention warrants for 63 suspects as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement’s alleged efforts to infiltrate the Turkish military.

The suspects are accused of contact with army members who are believed to be followers of the movement.

The police detained 15 of them in raids in provinces near Konya.

Meanwhile Ankara police detained 11 former public servants who used to work in Turkey’s health and foreign ministries on the basis of 18 detention warrants issued by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday.

Since the abortive coup over half a million people have been the subjects of prosecution over Gülen links, and some 140,000 civil servants have been dismissed from their jobs by government decrees, accused of affiliation with terrorist groups.

Mass detentions have been a part of daily life in Turkey for the last three years.

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