Turkey detains 16 for assisting victims of crackdown

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Turkish authorities detained 16 people Tuesday night in İzmir province for allegedly providing financial assistance to families of inmates jailed on alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported, citing the Kronos news website.

The İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 26 people; however, police were unable to locate 10 suspects.

The police confiscated 10,000 euros during raids on suspects’ houses.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement 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 an abortive putsch on July 15, 2016, that he accused Gülen of masterminding.

According to official data, 622,646 people have been the subject of investigation, and 301,932 have been detained, while 96,000 others have been jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement since the failed coup.

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

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