Turkish prosecutors have issued detention warrants for 29 gendarmerie officers due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement, the Bold Medya news website reported.
The Gülen movement is accused by the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of masterminding a failed coup in 2016 and is labeled a “terrorist organization,” although the movement denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.
The warrants were issued by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, with 17 of the officers detained thus far in raids across 20 provinces.
The 29 being sought are accused of involvement in the leaking of questions in a 2012 exam to become noncommissioned officers in the gendarmerie.
Turkish prosecutors accuse Gülen movement members of having prior access to the questions of some state-administered exams, a claim denied by the movement’s members.
President Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, inspired by Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of Dec. 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.
A total of 319,587 people have been detained and 99,962 arrested in operations against supporters of the Gülen movement since the coup attempt, Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced in November.
In addition to the thousands who were jailed, scores of other Gülen movement followers had to flee Turkey to avoid the government crackdown.