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Detention warrants issued for 34 former, current public servants due to alleged Gülen links

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Turkish prosecutors have issued detention warrants for 34 former and current public servants as part of an operation based in Ankara due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement, the Kronos news website reported.

The detention warrants were issued by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. Thirteen of the public servants being sought are currently employed, while eight of them were purged from their jobs in the aftermath of a failed coup in 2016. Twelve former deputy police chiefs are also among those facing detention.

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 an abortive putsch that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

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.

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