Detention warrants issued for 43 across Turkey over Gülen links

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Amid a non-stop witch-hunt targeting the faith-based Gülen movement, detention warrants were issued on Tuesday for 43 people as part of investigations into the movement in four provinces, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Sixteen people have been detained in Samsun province on accusations that they use a smart phone application known as ByLock. Turkish authorities believe ByLock is a communication tool among followers of the Gülen movement.

Gökçebey district gendarmerie commander B.K was detained in Zonguldak province over alleged Gülen links.

Detention warrants were issued for nine former police officers on suspicion of Gülen movement links as part of an investigation launched in Malatya province. Six of the police officers have been detained, while three are still at large.

In a similar development, detention warrants were issued for 17 people over alleged Gülen movement links as part of a Kırşehir-based investigation. Police have embarked on operations to detain suspects in four provinces including Kırşehir.

The Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Monday that 643 people have been detained in one week due to alleged links to the Gülen movement, accused by the government of masterminding a botched coup attempt last summer.

The ministry announced on Oct. 16 that 947 people had been detained the previous week.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15 through government decrees issued as part of the state of emergency.

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