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3 retired brigadier generals among 4 facing detention over Gülen links

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Turkish prosecutors have issued detention warrants for four people, three of whom are retired brigadier generals, over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup in 2016.

A written statement from the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday announced the issuance of detention warrants for the four people due to their alleged affiliation with the Gülen movement but did not mention the specifics of the charges lodged against them.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the failed coup on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

In the meantime, a Wednesday statement from the Turkish Defense Ministry on Twitter said a person with links to the Gülen movement had been detained as they were illegally trying to reach Greece in the northwestern Turkish province of Edirne.

Since the coup attempt, followers of the Gülen movement have been subjected to a massive crackdown, with the Turkish government and pro-government media outlets demonizing its members.

The Turkish government removed more than 130,000 civil servants from their jobs due to alleged Gülen links and revoked their passports under a state of emergency as part of its post-coup crackdown.

Moreover, a total of 292,000 people have been detained while 96,000 others have been jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement since the failed coup, according to a statement from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu in November. The minister said there were 25,655 people in Turkey’s prisons who were jailed due to links to the Gülen movement.

In addition to the thousands who were jailed, scores of other Gülen movement followers had to flee Turkey illegally because their passports had been cancelled. Some families perished during the risky journey out of the country to avoid the government crackdown.

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