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Naval forces officers among 14 facing detention over alleged Gülen links

Turkish prosecutors have issued detention warrants for 14 people including active duty and former naval officers and a civilian due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The detention warrants were issued on Tuesday as part of an investigation conducted by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Raids were carried out in four provinces on Tuesday to detain the suspects, who are claimed by authorities to be members of the Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup in 2016 and labelled as a “terrorist” organization. The movement strongly denies any involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

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.

Following the abortive putsch, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and carried out a massive purge of state institutions under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. More than 130,000 public servants, including 4,156 judges and prosecutors, as well as 29,444 members of the armed forces were summarily removed from their jobs for alleged membership in or relationships with “terrorist organizations” by emergency decree-laws subject to neither judicial nor parliamentary scrutiny.

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 said 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.

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