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186 people sought in Turkey’s post-coup crackdown targeting Gülen followers

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Turkish prosecutors on Tuesday ordered the detention of 186 people, including military members and ex-police officers, as part of a large-scale post-coup crackdown targeting followers of the faith-based Gülen movement.

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday issued detention warrants for 70 military members from the Turkish ground and naval forces, and from the Coast Guard, over Gülen links.

The soldiers were accused of using payphones to maintain their affiliation with the Gülen movement.

As of today, 2,422 soldiers have been detained due to allegedly using payphones, 1,501 of whom were put in pretrial detention.

According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, 617 of the suspects had admitted links to the Gülen movement and provided the names of other alleged followers.

Turkey accuses the movement of orchestrating a 2016 failed coup, although it strongly denies any involvement.

Since the coup attempt over half a million people have been the subject of terror investigations.

Meanwhile, prosecutors from İstanbul, İzmir and Ankara ordered the detention of 116 former police officers in an investigation into the movement, accusing the suspects of cheating in work-related exams.

The police officers were dismissed from their jobs after the failed coup due to having an account at Bank Asya, a now-closed Turkish bank affiliated with the Gülen movement, or for using ByLock, a smartphone application that is believed to be used among followers of the movement.

At least 80 of the suspects were detained in police operations, Anadolu said.

Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on Tuesday that some 30,000 police officers had been purged under post-coup government decrees.

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