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4 of 6 Gülen followers abducted in February found, currently in police custody

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Four out of six men who were allegedly abducted by the Turkish intelligence agency in February have been found and are currently in police custody, according to Artı Gerçek news website.

The men disappeared after they were purged from their state jobs due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement

The families of the abductees, Yasin Ugan, Özgür Kaya, Ertan Irmak and Salim Zeybek, were informed by the police that the men were under detention at the police department’s counterterrorism unit in Ankara.

Gökhan Türkmen and Mustafa Yılmaz, who were also abducted in February, are still missing.

Their wives have been attempting to determine their husbands’ whereabouts for more than five months, but state officials have reportedly not been of any assistance.

More than 20 people have reportedly been abducted by Turkey’s intelligence agency in a massive post-coup crackdown targeting Gülen movement followers in the aftermath of a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Turkey accuses the movement of orchestrating the failed coup, although it strongly denies any involvement.

Aycan Kaya, the wife of abductee Özgür Kaya, told Artı Gerçek that the families received a phone call from the police at around 1 a.m. on Monday informing them that the men had been found and were in police custody. Aycan Kaya also said the police told them they would not be able to see their spouses due to an ongoing investigation into them.

Kaya, who also spoke to the Mesopotamya news agency, said the police told the families’ lawyers that Ugan, Kaya, Irmak and Zeybek were in an area close to the Ankara Police Department on Sunday evening with backpacks and were detained by the police during a routine General Information Gathering (GBT) records check.

Family members of the other abductees who were found also announced the news from their social media accounts, saying they were very happy to learn that their loved ones were alive.

Some of the people kidnapped since the coup attempt have returned to their families, while many of them are still missing.

Two of the abducted Gülen followers told Correctiv, a non-profit investigative newsroom in Europe, they had been subjected to torture and ill treatment by intelligence officers at a secret site in Ankara. Ayten Öztürk, a woman investigated for membership in a leftist terrorist organization, also told the court that she was illegally kept under custody and tortured by intelligence agents.

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 30,000 others were jailed and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.

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