Detained along with 20 other colleagues from four provinces across Turkey, one teacher told reporters not to take her picture saying: “Please, I have students.”
Twenty-one teachers were detained in Denizil, Ankara, Adana and Gaziantep in an operation targeting alleged followers of the faith-based Gülen movement. Police teams from the Adana Police Department conducted simultaneous raids on residences belonging to the teachers on Wednesday morning.
When the detainees were being taken to a hospital for medical examinations, one of the female teachers asked journalists not to take her pictures in a bid to prevent her students from being negatively affected by the images of their teachers escorted by police.
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 105,000 people have been sacked from state bodies, in excess of 75,000 detained and more than 35,000 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.