An expert on mental health disorders and academic at Gaziantep University (GAÜN), Professor Haluk Savaş is among those who were arrested over his alleged ties to the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding the July 15 coup attempt.
A total of 90 people including faculty members and personnel from GAÜN were detained over coup charges, bringing up the already high-number of academics under custody, on Thursday.
Being among those detained, Savaş was arrested later the same day, according to Turkish media. Some Twitter users claimed that his wife, also an academic, was also detained in the same operation.
A candidate for deputy nomination on the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) t tickets in 2015 general elections, Savaş is also popular for his widely-circulated tweets.
More than 5070 academics have been dismissed as part of a witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement by means of government decrees issued under the state of emergency following the putsch bid.
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 Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement, inspired by US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
Despite Gülen and the movement having denied the accusation and calling for an international investigation, 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.