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11 face detention for helping families of jailed Gülen followers

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Turkish prosecutors have issued detention warrants for 11 people on terrorism charges for helping the families of people jailed over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the Kronos news website reported on Tuesday.

The detention warrants were issued by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on the grounds that the 11 people were providing financial support to the families of jailed Gülen followers.

Anti-terrorism units from the Ankara Police Department have launched operations to detain the 11 suspects.

Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government launched a war against the Gülen movement, a worldwide civic initiative inspired by the ideas of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, after the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013 that implicated then-prime minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s family members and inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy, the AKP government designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. The government intensified the crackdown following a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that they accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

A total of 319,587 people have been detained and 99,962 arrested in operations against supporters of the Gülen movement since the coup attempt, Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on November 22.

In addition to the thousands who were jailed, scores of other Gülen movement followers had to flee Turkey to avoid the government crackdown.

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