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Turkey arrested 1,595 people in one year for links to Glen (minister)

Turkey arrested 1,595 people in one year for links to Glen (minister)
Turkey arrested 1,595 people in one year for links to Glen (minister)


Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya announced during a press briefing on Thursday that since June 2023, Turkish authorities have carried out a total of 5,543 police operations and arrested 1,595 people as part of the crackdown ongoing government action against the Glen confessional movement.

Speaking to journalists at the Ankara 365 press briefings, Yerlikaya highlighted the scale of operations against the movement.

The Glen movement, inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Glen, is accused by the Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoan of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016 and is labeled a terrorist organization, although the movement denies any involvement in the attempted coup d'état or in any terrorist activity. .

This week's arrests and detentions highlighted the ongoing crackdown.

On Tuesday, arrest warrants were issued by the Zmir General Prosecutor's Office against eight people suspected of being linked to the movement. Five of these suspects have been arrested and police are actively pursuing the others. The suspects are accused of holding important positions within the organization, including those of “regional student coordinators” and “military personnel managers.”

Other operations carried out the same day in Malatya resulted in the arrest of four women allegedly active within the movement, with law enforcement seizing a trove of documents and digital material.

Arrest warrants for eight people were issued by the Zmir General Prosecutor's Office on Thursday. Police arrested six of the suspects, accused of being affiliated with the movement and using the ByLock messaging app.

ByLock, once widely available online, has been considered a covert communications tool among supporters of the Glen movement since the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, despite the absence of any evidence that ByLock messages were linked to the putsch aborted.

Erdoan has targeted supporters of the Glen movement since the 2013 corruption investigations, which involved then-Prime Minister Erdoan, his family members and his entourage.

Dismissing the investigations as a coup by the Glenists and a plot against his government, Erdoan designated the movement a terrorist organization and began targeting its members. He intensified his repression of the movement after the aborted 2016 putsch that he accused Glen of organizing. Glen and the movement categorically deny any involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

In addition to the thousands of people imprisoned, many other supporters of the Glen movement had to flee Turkey to escape government repression.

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