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Top judge among 6 detained after court upholds sentences over Gülen links

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A former judge at Turkey’s Council of State was among six former public servants who were jailed in Ankara on Tuesday after a top court upheld the sentences they were handed down due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement, the Bold Medya news website reported.

Teams from the Ankara Police Department raided the houses of the former six public servants who also included a former military officer and two police chiefs following a Supreme Court of Appeals decision to uphold their sentences.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Although the detainees did not put up any resistance, they were handcuffed from behind while they were being taken out of the police station, photos showed.

The former public servants were sent to Sincan Prison in Ankara to serve their sentences. It was not clear on what charges they were convicted of, but most people arrested on Gülen links face charges of membership in a terrorist organization.

More than 130,000 public servants, including more than 4,500 judges and prosecutors, were removed from their jobs during a two-year state of emergency imposed following the coup attempt under the pretext of an anti-coup fight.

Since the coup attempt, followers of the Gülen movement have been subjected to a massive crackdown, with the Turkish government and pro-government media outlets demonizing its members.

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.

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