Turkish officials order 229 detentions in ongoing post-coup crackdown on Gülen movement

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Turkish prosecutors in İzmir and Ankara ordered the detention of 229 suspects as part of a large-scale crackdown targeting the followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused of masterminding a 2016 coup attempt despite its strong denial of any involvement.

The İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday issued detention warrants for 82 active duty soldiers and 51 former military members over Gülen links, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

One hundred one suspects, including high-ranking officers, were detained in raids on residences in 45 provinces, the report said.

The suspects are accused of using a secret method of communication involving payphones to maintain links to the Gülen movement.

Meanwhile the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office ordered the detention of 10 active duty soldiers and seven former servicemen from the Turkish Air Forces due to alleged Gülen links.

Ankara police detained at least 56 in a separate investigation, accusing the suspects of providing funding to the Gülen movement, after the public prosecutor’s office issued detention warrants for 79 people, Anadolu reported.

Following the coup attempt, more than 130,000 people were removed from state jobs, while in excess of 30,000 others are still in jail and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism due to alleged Gülen links.

The mass detentions have been continuing on an almost daily basis since July 2016.

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