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 71 people were arrested, while 349 others were detained over the past 24 hours, according to Turkish news agencies.
Police carried out the operations in 24 provinces across Turkey. With most of the arrestees being police officers, those arrested over the past day also included university personnel; academics; businessmen, university students, a football player, shopkeepers and some personnel from Turkey’s Science and Technological Research Council (TÜBİTAK).
Among the detainees are businessmen, teachers, court personnel, academics, shopkeepers, police officers and health personnel. Veteran journalist Ahmet Altan was also detained on Thursday.
The victims of Friday 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 100,000 have been either sacked or suspended from state bodies, nearly 43,000 detained and 24,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees included journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.