A huge cleansing of Turkey’s state and other institutions is continuing as people from all walks of life find themselves hunted down and taken into custody.
According to Turkish news agencies, at least 40 people were arrested, while 76 others were detained on Oct. 29, the 93rd anniversary of Turkey’s Republic Day.
Police carried out the operations in at least 18 provinces across Turkey. With most of the arrestees being police and military officers, those arrested over the past day also included businessmen, academics, and teachers.
Among those detained are association workers.
The victims of Saturday’s operations carried out as part of the massive purge have been added to the already-large group of people who have been either detained or arrested since July 15.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
Despite Gülen and the movement having denied the accusation, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
Nearly 120,000 people have been purged from state bodies, some 80,000 detained and 36,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian. Critics argue that lists of Gülen sympathizers were drawn up prior to the coup attempt.