Turkish prosecutors have issued detention warrants for 118 people including active-duty and former military officers due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement for using pay phones as a means of secret communication, the TR724 news website reported.
Turkish police teams raided locations across 33 provinces on Tuesday to detain the suspects who also include students and other civilians. Fifty-two of the suspects were detained as part of the investigation overseen by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The military officers facing detention are accused of sending messages via pay phone, a method that Turkish prosecutors believe is a secret means of communication among Gülen movement members.
The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.
Since the coup attempt, followers of the Gülen movement have been subjected to a massive crackdown, with the Turkish government and pro-government media outlets demonizing its members.
According to a statement from Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Nov. 26, a total of 292,000 people have been detained, while 96,000 others have been jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement since the failed coup. The minister said there are currently 25,655 people in Turkey’s prisons who were jailed due to links to the Gülen movement.
In addition to the thousands who were jailed, scores of other Gülen movement followers had to flee Turkey to avoid the government crackdown.