25 current former officials detained in Ankara over alleged links to Gülen

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Turkish prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for 30 former and current officials in the capital Ankara over their alleged links to the Gulen movement, 25 of whom are already in custody, Turkish Minute reported.

The arrest warrants were issued by the Ankara Attorney General’s Office based on testimonies against the suspects.

The detention of the 25 suspects took place during police raids in 12 provinces. Police are continuing their efforts to arrest the remaining five suspects.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting supporters of the Gülen movement, inspired by Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, since corruption probes from December 17-25, 2013, which involved then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, members of his family and those around him.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and a plot against his government, Erdoğan branded the movement a terrorist organization and began targeting its members. He intensified the repression against the movement following an abortive putsch which he accused Gülen of having orchestrated. Gülen and the movement strongly deny any involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Following the failed putsch, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and carried out a massive purge of state institutions under the pretext of an anti-coup struggle. More than 130,000 civil servants, including 4,156 judges and prosecutors, as well as 29,444 members of the armed forces have been summarily dismissed from their posts for membership or alleged relations with “terrorist organisations” by emergency decree laws subject to a neither judicial nor parliamentary control.

A total of 319,587 people have been detained and 99,962 arrested in operations against Gülen supporters since the attempted coup, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said in November.

In addition to the thousands imprisoned, dozens of other supporters of the Gülen movement have had to flee Turkey to avoid government repression.

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