Turkey orders detention of 218 in post-coup crackdown against Gülen followers

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Turkish prosecutors in Ankara, İstanbul and Balıkesir ordered the detention of 218 suspects, including current and former public servants at the Justice Ministry and police officers, as part of a large-scale crackdown targeting followers of the faith-based Gülen movement.

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

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Friday issued detention warrants for 84 current or former personnel of the Justice Ministry over alleged Gülen links, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The police raided residences in 16 provinces and detained at least 50 suspects, the report indicated.

Meanwhile, the İstanbul police on Friday detained 44 current or former employees of the Justice Ministry in a separate investigation into Gülen movement followers.

The Balıkesir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office also ordered the detention of 26 current or former Justice Ministry staff on Friday.

In another investigation the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 64 suspects on accusations of Gülen ties.

The suspects are accused of rigging a 2009 exam to enter the police academy.

The report said at least 26 people, three of them currently serving as police officers, were detained.

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 since the abortive putsch, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Nov. 21.

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