Sixteen people, including one of the cousins of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, were detained in the western province of İzmir on Wednesday as part of an ongoing crackdown on the faith-based Gülen movement.
Gülen’s cousin Feride Gülen was detained in the Torbalı district of İzmir.
The detainees are accused of membership in“FETÖ,” a derogatory term coined by the Turkish government to refer to the movement, as well as supporting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as part of the investigation overseen by the İzmir Public Prosecutor’s Office.
In early November Gülen’s nephew Hüseyin Gülen and niece Büşra Gülen were also arrested in İzmir on charges of usinga smart phone application known as ByLock.
They are accused of using the smart phone application ByLock, which according to prosecutors is the top communication tool among members of the faith-based Gülen movement, accused by the government of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15. Critics, however, have blasted the government for detaining thousands simply for using a mobile application.