Detention orders issued for 118 in Turkey over Gulen links

Istanbul prosecutor’s office issued detention warrants for 118 people on Tuesday, mostly members of the military and security forces, over alleged links to the Gulen movement.

Authorities have carried out a sustained crackdown on alleged followers of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen since the failed coup in July 2016, when 250 people were killed. Ankara says Gulen was behind the coup bid. Police still routinely carry out raids on alleged followers.

Gulen has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999. He denies any involvement in the attempted coup.

The prosecutor’s office said it issued detention warrants for 42 military and gendarmerie personnel as a result of statements by previously detained people and analyses of payphone calls. Among them were 24 officers on active duty.

It said it had requested the detention of 76 military, gendarmerie personnel and civilians in a separate operation over alleged use of payphones to contact members of the network. Seventy-four of those were on active duty.

The detention orders included members of the land, air, and marine forces, as well as one colonel and three lieutenants.

Since the coup attempt, about 80,000 people have been jailed pending trial and some 150,000 civil servants, military personnel, and others sacked or suspended from their jobs.

Turkey’s Western allies including the European Union as well as rights groups have criticized the scale of the crackdown, while Ankara has defended the measures as a necessary response to the security threat.


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