A huge cleansing of Turkey’s state and other institutions is continuing as people from all walks of life find themselves being hunted down and taken into custody.
At least 154 people were arrested, while 218 others were detained over the past 24 hours, according to Turkish news agencies.
Police carried out the operations in at least 39 provinces across Turkey. With most of the arrestees being military officers, those arrested over the past day also included civil servants, police officers, courthouse personnel, lawyers, Court of Accounts inspectors and a newspaper distributor.
Among those detained are teachers, civil servants, businessmen, hospital workers, police officers, academics and military pilots.
The victims of Thursday’s operations carried out as part of the massive purge have been added to the already-huge group of people who have been either detained or arrested since July 15.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement. Despite Gülen and the movement having denied the accusation, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
More than 105,000 people have been purged from state bodies, nearly 72,000 detained and some 34,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees included journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian. Critics argue that lists of Gülen sympathizers were arranged prior to the coup attempt.