Turkey orders detention of 140 people over Gulen links


Turkish prosecutors ordered the detention of 140 people including serving army officers over alleged links to U.S.-based preacher, Fethullah Gulen, accused of orchestrating attempted coup in 2016, state-run Anadolu agency said on Friday.
The agency said “police launched simultaneous operations in 34 provinces across the country for 70 serving army members in a probe led by state prosecutors in the central province of Konya.”
It added that the suspects were targeted based on statements by soldiers previously detained over ties to the cleric, believed to have been responsible for student houses for Gulen’s movement.
Anadolu noted that “in another investigation led by Istanbul prosecutor’s office, Turkish authorities captured 18 people out of 70 suspects who were sought to have links with Gulenist Network in the naval forces.”
UN human rights office said in March that Turkish authorities had detained 160,000 people and dismissed almost the same number of civil servants since the failed coup in July 2016, which Ankara blamed on Gulen.
He, however, denied any involvement.
Among those detained, more than 50,000 had been formally charged and kept in jail during their trials, which Turkey’s Western allies criticised.
Critics of President Tayyip Erdogan accused him of using the failed putsch to quash dissent.
Turkey, however, said the measure was necessary to combat threats to national security.


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