Turkey issues detention warrants for 12 former police chiefs over Gülen links

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Turkish prosecutors in Ankara have issued detention warrants for 12 former police chiefs who were removed from their posts due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement in the aftermath of a failed coup in 2016, the TR724 news website reported.

A statement from the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office said on Tuesday that efforts were underway to detain the former police chiefs.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, inspired by Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following the abortive putsch on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

The Turkish government removed more than 130,000 civil servants from their jobs on alleged Gülen links following the coup attempt.

In addition to the thousands who were jailed, scores of other Gülen movement followers had to flee Turkey to avoid the government crackdown.

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