Twenty-one people working for the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), the Turkish state agency for monitoring, regulating and sanctioning radio and television broadcasts, have been detained over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.
The RTÜK employees, who were earlier suspended from their posts due to their alleged links to the movement, were detained as part of an investigation conducted by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office following police raids on locations in Ankara, Şanlıurfa, Kahramanmaraş, İstanbul and Aksaray provinces. Seven other RTÜK employees also face detention as part of the same investigation.
Police teams also conducted a search of RTÜK headquarters in Ankara’s Bilkent neighborhood.
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 Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, whose views inspired the movement, 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.
About 120,000 people have been purged from state bodies, in excess of 80,000 detained and over 36,000 have been arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian. Critics argue that lists of Gülen sympathizers were drawn up prior to the coup attempt.