Mahmut Birlik, vice president of the Gaziantep branch of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), has been appointed as trustee for 7 companies that were transferred to the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) due to their owners’ alleged links to the Gülen group, which is accused by Turkish authorities of being behind a failed coup in 2016.

According to the Cumhuriyet daily, Bİrlik was appointed as trustee to the folowing companies: Naksan Holding, SOHO, Cardiatech Medical Products, Vera Marine, Verimli Plastic Fİlm and Energy, Atlas Carpet and Furnishing, Sanal instruction simulator productions.

Thousands of companies, business associations and media outlets, including newspapers and TV and radio stations established by people who are affiliated with the Gülen group, have been seized by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) after a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

The government speeded up its witch-hunt after the failed coup, purging over 150,000 people from state jobs, detaining more than 125,000 and arresting over 55,000 for their links to the group.

The group denies any involvement in the attempted coup.

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