The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has issued detention warrants for 59 people who were customers of the now-closed Islamic lender Bank Asya, which was affiliated with the Gülen movement.
The Turkish government accuses the movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, although the movement strongly denies any involvement.
Out of the 59 people for whom detention warrants were issued, 29 were detained on Wednesday while the search for the remaining individuals continues.
The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) had taken over the management of Bank Asya and assumed control of 63 percent of its privileged shares, enough to name the board, in February 2015. In the aftermath of the coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the government closed down Bank Asya on the grounds that it was linked to the Gülen movement.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government pursued a crackdown on the Gülen movement following corruption operations in December 2013 in which the inner circle of the government and then-Prime Minister Erdoğan were implicated.
Despite the movement strongly denying involvement in the coup attempt, Erdoğan launched a witch-hunt targeting the movement following the putsch.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on April 18, 2018 said the total number of people who were arrested over their alleged ties to the Gülen movement between July 15, 2016 and April 11, 2018 is 77,081.
The number of people who have been investigated for alleged ties to the Gülen movement reached 402,000 in March, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on March 15.