Thirty-three housewives have been detained over alleged links to the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a July 15 coup attempt, the pro-gov’t Sabah daily reported on Friday.
Detention warrants were issued for 33 Kayseri women early on Friday. Hours later, police teams carried out simultaneous operations in the province and detained all the suspects.
The detainees are accused of having links to the Gülen movement, of using of a smart phone application known as ByLock and of attending public meetings organized by movement followers.
Turkish authorities believe ByLock is a communication tool between members of the Gülen movement.
In a similar development on Thursday 12 businessmen were detained in Kayseri province for raising humanitarian relief for families of people jailed in an ongoing crackdown on the Gülen movement.
Turkey experienced a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.
Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup. Gülen called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, 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.
In the currently ongoing post-coup purge, over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10.
As of March 1, 93,248 people were being held without charge, with an additional 46,274 in pre-trial detention.A total of 7,316 academics were dismissed as 4,070 judges and prosecutors were purged over alleged coup involvement or terrorist links.
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