Turkey has since beginning of this year paid a total of TL 2.4 million in rewards to citizens who have provided the state with useful information about others who are suspected of having committed a crime, according to figures from the Finance Ministry.

The government paid nothing in January; TL 50,000 in February; TL 56,000 in March; TL 242,000 in April; TL 285,000 in May; TL 166,000 in June; TL 96,000 in July; TL 22,000 in August; TL 905,000 in September; TL 189,000 in October; TL 402,000 in November.

The amount of money paid to informants in 2015 from the state budget was TL 1.4 million.

Since a failed coup attempt on July 15, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been making repeated calls to people to report the followers of the Gülen movement to Turkish authorities so that they can be prosecuted.

Even local administrations established hot lines for residents to spy on suspected followers of the movement.

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 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.

More than 115,000 people have been purged from state bodies, in excess of 90,000 detained and over 39,000 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.

This article originally appeared in Turkish Minute on Dec. 20.

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