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Turkey orders detention of 237 suspected of Gülen movement ties in last 2 days

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Turkish prosecutors have ordered the detention of 237 suspects, including active duty soldiers, in the last two days as part of a large-scale crackdown targeting followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, launched after a 2016 failed coup.

The prosecutors in İstanbul, Ankara and Çanakkale ordered the detention of 84 active duty soldiers and 30 others, including former military members, over Gülen links, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

The suspects are accused of infiltrating the Turkish military on behalf of the Gülen movement, which is accused of masterminding the coup attempt despite its strong denial of any involvement.

Meanwhile, the Konya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday ordered the detention of 50 alleged Gülen followers as part of an investigation into the movement.

The police conducted operations in 26 provinces starting early in the morning, the report said.

In İstanbul and Ankara, the prosecutors also issued detention warrants for 73 people on Monday and Tuesday, accusing the suspects of using ByLock, a smartphone application that was believed to be used among Gülen followers.

The police took at least 49 of the suspects into custody, according to Anadolu.

Since the coup attempt in 2016, Turkey has investigated 559,064 people for alleged links to the Gülen movement as well as detaining 261,700 suspects over Gülen ties and arresting 91,287, the interior minister told parliament on Nov. 21.

More than 130,000 civil servants were fired by government decrees, and thousands have fled to Europe to escape the unwarranted prosecutions.

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