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New York

Tue, 21 Jan 2020 13:45 GMT

Turkey Detains 176 Soldiers over Suspected Links to Gülen


7Dnews London

Tue, 14 Jan 2020 11:36 GMT

Turkish authorities have arrested 115 soldiers suspected of links to the Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gülen, whom Ankara blames for the failed coup attempt against the government in 2016.The Turkish Anatolia News Agency said that these soldiers were among 176 military personnel who were arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into the Gülen network, according to AP.

The report of the Turkish agency added that 108 of these soldiers were still in military service, including six F-16 commanders and 4 gendarmes in the provinces.

On July 15th, 2016 a group of officers attempted a coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, during which about 250 people were killed and more than 2,000 were injured.

Since then, the Turkish authorities have arrested around 77,000 people, and about 130,000 others have been dismissed from their government jobs in an ongoing government campaign against the Gülen network since the failed coup attempt.

Arrests by the Turkish authorities of military personnel and civilians continue, on allegations of relations with Gülen. On Monday January 13th, Turkish journalist and social security expert Ali Tezel was briefly detained by Turkish authorities due to social media posts about the Gülen movement, according to the Turkish website Turkey Purge.

Meanwhile, a deputy of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, denounced the detention of a Turkish family consisting of a mother, father and two-year-old son for months in prison for their alleged links to the group, according to Turkey Purge.

Gergerlioğlu wrote on Twitter on Monday January 13th that Turkish prisons are full of families who have been held for months due to allegations of their links to Gülen.

Fathallah Gülen has been in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999 and has repeatedly denied his involvement in the coup attempt.

Middle East Asia