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Turkey resumes detention of Gülen followers as coronavirus measures eased

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After a pause due to the coronavirus outbreak, Turkey returned to almost daily mass detentions of alleged followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt despite its strong denial of any involvement.

The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday issued detention warrants for 118 people, mostly members of the military and security forces, over alleged Gülen links, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

The prosecutor’s office said it had issued warrants for 42 members of the military and gendarmerie as a result of statements made by previously detained people and analyses of pay phone calls. Among them were 24 officers on active duty, Reuters reported.

It also said it had requested the detention of 76 military and gendarmerie members as well as civilians in a separate operation after determining they had used pay phones to contact members of the Gülen network. Seventy-four of them were on active duty.

Anadolu said at least 72 suspects were detained in police raids in 35 provinces.

Since the failed coup in July 2016, Turkey has purged some 130,000 public servants and jailed thousands of people, including judges, prosecutors, journalists, medical doctors and businesspeople.

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