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Turkish authorities detain 11 female students in southeastern Turkey for links to Gülen movement

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Turkish authorities on Friday morning detained 11 female university students in southeastern Turkey for alleged links to the Gülen movement, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported, citing the Bold Medya news website.

Students in Urfa, Hatay and Diyarbakir provinces were detained after police raids on their homes. Seven of the young women were arrested after questioning, while four were released under judicial supervision.

Photographs of the house raids released by the pro-government Ihlas news agency revealed police officers going through the books and libraries of the students.

This is the third time authorities have detained and arrested female university students in nationwide home raids.

Yesterday six students were detained shortly after being released from custody earlier the same day. The students had been detained on May 12 for links to the movement and held in detention for a week. However, shortly after their release, the prosecutor ordered that six of the students be detained again.

A total of 50 female students and teachers were detained on Tuesday in southern Antalya province for links to the movement. The detainees are still currently at Antalya police headquarters.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish 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 a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

According to a statement from the Turkish interior minister, a total of 319,587 people have been detained while 99,962 others have been jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement since the failed coup.

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