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Turkish gov’t seizes 966 companies worth TL 48.5 bln over Gülen links

The Turkish government has seized 966 companies and 4,888 of their properties, with a total value of TL 48.5 billion, over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of mounting a botched coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

According to a report titled “The Fight against FETÖ,” [a derogatory term used by the government circles to refer to the Gülen movement] which has been presented to the National Security Council (MGK), real estate worth TL 7.5 billion and company property worth TL 41 billion have been transferred to Turkey’s state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) as part of an ongoing government-led crackdown on the Gülen movement.

The Turkish government has been confiscating the private property of non-loyalist businesspeople without due process on unsubstantiated charges of terrorist links.

The companies are allegedly connected to the Gülen movement, with the government coining the term “FETÖ” to designate the movement as a terrorist organization despite the lack of any court verdict to that effect.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but Turkish President Tayyip 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.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced on July 7, 2017 that at least 50,504 people have been arrested and 168,801 have been the subject of legal proceedings since the coup attempt.

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