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 1601 people were detained, with 895 of them put under arrest, in operations targeting Turkey’s Kurdish minority, and the Gülen group, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, in the first 15 days of June, according to data compiled by Turkeypurge.com.
The detentions, arrests and dismissals took place between June 1 and June 14.
On June 1, four people were detained at an Ankara pastry shop while they were allegedly making plans to escape the government crackdown.
Ankara police raided a bakery in Etimesgut district where two lawyers, a doctor and a university student were met before they hit the road for illegal exit from Turkey, according to state-run Anadolu news agency.
Police reportedly seized during the raid TL 22,000 [$6,500], passport size photos and IDs that do not belong to the detainees.
On June 1, a video footage showed the moment Turkish police fired hundreds of plastic bullets at Veli Saçılık, a former political prisoner and public servant who was sacked by a government decree in the aftermath of a July 15 coup attempt in Turkey.
In the 43-second video, viewed hundreds of times on Twitter, Salıcık was initially assaulted by a group of police officers and then “shot with hundreds of plastic bullets” for publicly protesting his dismissal under post-coup emergency rule.
After being hit by the bullets, Saçılık is seen falling to the ground and crawling away.
On June 1, Turkish fashion designer Barbaros Şansal was given a suspended prison sentence of 6 months, 20 days on charges of “insulting Turkish nation” with a video he posted on social media on the New Year’s Eve.
On June 2, Zekeriya Güzüpek, former head of the now-closed pro-Kurdish Dicle news agency (DİHA), and Mehmet Ali Ertaş, editor for DİHA’s Kurdish service, were detained by police in Diyarbakır province, according to the Evrensel daily.
On June 2, a 9-year-old girl was allegedly separated from her foster family as the adoptive father is being under investigation over his alleged links to the Gülen group.
On June 2, Elif Aslaner, a religious education teacher, was detained hours after she gave birth to a baby at a private hospital in Bursa, due to her alleged links to Turkey’s Gülen group.
On June 2, at least ten people were detained near Turkey’s Greek frontier in Edine’s Meric district after they unsuccessfully attempted to illegally cross the border. The detainees included four teachers, a doctor and a sergeant who were all dismissed from their jobs over their alleged links to the Gulen group.
On June 2, six students and graduates of the Eskisehir-based Anadolu University`s Faculty of Aviation and Space Sciences were detained as part of an investigation into the Gülen group.
On June 2, seven people including partners, executives and workers of a dialysis center in the central province of Aksaray were detained as part of an investigation into the Gulen group. Police carried out operations in Aksaray, Mersin and Niğde provinces to the detain suspects. Twenty-nine $1 bills were confiscated as terror evidence during a raid on the center.Detainees are accused of having made donations to the movement.
On June 2, Turkish police detained Prof. Dr. Mehmet Kanter, father of NBA Oklahoma City Thunder player Enes Kanter, who the government seeks to arrest over links to the Gülen group, the Birgün daily reported.
On June 2, An Adana court handed down a suspended sentence to visually impaired journalist Cüneyt Arat for praising Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen and the Gülen group he inspired.
On June 2, a Sivas prosecutor issued detention warrants for 13 dentists in 7 provinces as part of an investigation into the Gülen group, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.
On June 3, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s chief advisor was reportedly detained in Ankara as part of an investigation into the Gülen group.
On June 3, fourteen people were detained as part of a Samsun-based investigation into the Gülen group. similar accusations.
Accused of using ByLock mobile application or depositing now-defunct Bank Asya, the suspects were caught during simultaneous police raids in Samsun and Ankara provinces. Detainees included a lawyer, 12 teachers and a public servant who were earlier dismissed from their jobs as part of similar accusations.
Accused of using ByLock mobile application or depositing now-defunct Bank Asya, the suspects were caught during simultenaous police raids in Samsun and Ankara provinces.
On June 3, Nazlı N. Mert was detained by police and taken to a police station hoursa after she gave birth to a baby at Lokman Hekim Hospital in Ankara’s Etlik neighborhood as part of an investigation into the Gülen group.
On June 4, İlker Yücel, editor-in-chief of the Aydınlık daily, which is affiliated with the ultranationalist Homeland Party (VP) of Doğu Perinçek, was arrested by a court after being detained in Turkey’s Iğdır province. He was later released by the same court.
On June 4, at least 40 people were detained in Rize province as part of an investigation into the Gulen group. Accused of using ByLock smartphone application, the detainees included public servants, small business owners and businessmen working in private sector.
ByLock is considered by Turkish authorities to be the top communication tool among followers of the Gülen group.
On June 4, at least 20 women were detained as part of a Çorum-based investigation into the Gulen group.
On June 5, the Turkish Interior Ministry announced that at least 81 people were detained over the past week on charges of making propaganda on social media on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The ministry said investigations were launched against 395 social media users while only 81 of them were detained over the past week.
On June 5, a total of 920 people were detained across Turkey as part of investigations into the Gülen group over the past week. In a written statement, Interior Ministry said 920 were detained over their alleged links to the group on between May 29 and June 5.
On June 5, Esra Demir, a 31-year-old teacher, was reportedly detained hours after she gave birth to a baby at a Batman hospital and taken to a police station as part of an investigation into Turkey’s Gülen group.
On June 5, Turkey’s Interior Ministry has released the list of 130 people who are currently abroad including Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen and two deputies from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) who will be stripped of citizenship if they do not return to the country within three months. The list was published in the Monday version of the Official Gazette.
On June 5, An Hatay court ruled for the arrest of Muhammet Furkan Sökmen, a Turkish national who was forcibly returned to Turkey despite his cries for help on social media. Sökmen was working for two schools established by Gulen group in Myanmar.
On June 6, Turkish prosecutors issued detention warrants for 47 people working at Turkey’s education and energy ministries over alleged links to the Gülen group. Thirty of the individuals work for the Education Ministry, while 17 work at the Transportation Ministry, according to Turkish media reports.
On June 6, an indictment drafted by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office sought two consecutive life sentences for 13 people, including prominent Turkish journalists and pop singer Atilla Taş, on coup charges. The journalists named in the indictment are National Party (UP) leader and Türk Solu weekly columnist Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Yakup Çetin, Bünyamin Köseli, Cihan Acar, Abdullah Kılıç, Oğuz Usluer, Hüseyin Aydın, Murat Aksoy, Mustafa Erkan, Seyit Kılıç, Yetkin Yıldız, Ali Akkuş and famous pop singer Taş. The indictment revealed that the suspects are accused of membership in a terrorist organization due to their stories, critical tweets and retweets.
On June 6, the Evrensel daily’s managing editor Çağrı Sarı and former license owner Arif Koşar were given suspended five-month sentences on charges related to Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). Article 301 criminalizes denigration of the Turkish nation, the Turkish state, the Turkish Parliament, the government of the Republic of Turkey and the legal institutions of the state. The journalists were given the prison sentences by the İstanbul 2nd Penal Court of First Instance on Tuesday due to an article published in the daily on March 15, 2016 that was titled: “Police open fire on public in Nusaybin: 3 injured.”
On June 6, twelve teachers were detained in a Malatya-based investigation into the Gulen movement group.
On June 7, a Kastamonu-based university student, identified as M.A., received a 6-years-and-3-months prison term over terror charges. Under arrest for some time over his use of ByLock mobile application, M.A. was sentenced for alleged membership to the Gülen group.
On June 7, seventy-three teachers, who were earlier dismissed from their jobs, were detained in an Istanbul-based investigation into the Gulen group.
On June 7, detention warrants were issued for 128 people as part of an investigation into Kaynak Holding, an Istanbul-based conglomerated the government seized in late 2015. An Istanbul prosecutor issued detention warrants for 128 executives at 19 companies, 1 foundation and 1 association under Kaynak Holding.
On June 8, 11 bank employees were detained in Ankara-based investigation into the Gulen group.
On June 8, the rector of Antalya’s Akdeniz University between 2008 and 2015, Professor Dr. İsrafil Kurtcephe was put in pre-trial detention over his alleged links to the Gulen group.
On June 8, former co-Chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Figen Yüksekdağ was handed down a prison sentence of one year for “publicly insulting the government of Turkey,” the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. The Adana 11th Penal Court of First Instance convicted Yüksekdağ for a speech she made during a press statement in Adana on Oct. 12, 2015. Yüksekdağ, who has been in prison since November 2016, refused to participate in the court hearing by a video system.
On June 8, an İstanbul prosecutor submitted an indictment seeking three consecutive life sentences for former İstanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu and former Police Chief Hüseyin Çapkın over their links to the Gülen group.
On June 8, under arrest for more than 8 months over coup charges, Gökçe Fırat, the leader of the National Party (UP) and a columnist for the Türk Solu weekly magazine was sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in jail for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
On June 9, at least 11 people have been detained as part of a Balikesir-based investigation into the Gulen group. The detainees included 5 academics from the Balıkesir University, 2 imams, 1 security personnel, 2 construction workers and 1 retired guard.
On June 9, French photojournalist Mathias Depardon, who was detained on May 8 in Turkey, deported to France.
On June 9, Taner Kılıç, a lawyer and the chairman of Amnesty International Turkey’s board, was arrested by an İzmir court as part of an investigation into Turkey’s Gülen group.
On June 10, ten people, including three members of the Turkish Communist Party (TKP), were sentenced to 11 months, 20 days in prison for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Cumhuriyet daily reported.
On June 10, a high criminal court in the southern province of Adana applied to Turkey’s Justice Ministry demanding the revocation of the Turkish citizenship of journalist Bilal Öğütçü over terror charges. The Adana representative of the Zaman newspaper and the Cihan news agency until they were shut down by the government in the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, Öğütçü faces 15 years in prison on accusation of membership to the Gülen group.
On June 11, detained in the southern province of Isparta as part of a post-coup investigation, a woman, identified with initials Ö.A., has been transferred to a prison in Siirt, an eastern province 1,291 kilometers away from home. According to Aktif Haber online news portal, Ö.A. was taken into custody in Isparta before she was transferred to Siirt for interrogation.
On June 11, at least thirty-nine civilians, including doctors, imams and housewives, were detained by police in six major Turkish provinces over alleged links to Turkey’s Gülen group, In Samsun, 15 teachers, 1 doctor, 1 shopkeeper and 1 former employee of now-closed Gülen-affiliated high school, were detained over their alleged use of a smart phone application known as ByLock.
On June 11, a Turkish health worker was given 6 years, 6 months and 22 days prison sentence over alleged membership to Turkey’s Gülen group.
On June 12, Turkish painter Zehra Doğan was sent to Diyarbakır Prison several months after a court handed down a prison sentence of two years, nine months, 22 days for depicting the destruction caused by military operations carried out in the Nusaybin district of Mardin province. Doğan was reportedly stopped by police on the Diyarbakır-Mardin highway and taken to Diyarbakır Prison because of an outstanding sentence given to her on March 5, 2016. According to the Cumhuriyet daily, the Mardin 2nd High Criminal Court handed down the sentence to Doğan on charges that she drew Turkish flags on buildings destroyed by Turkish forces.
On June 12, the Turkish Interior Ministry announced that at least 38 people were detained over the past week on charges of making propaganda on social media on behalf of the Gulen movement and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The ministry said investigations were launched against 391 social media users while only 48 of them were detained on June 5-12.
On June 12, a total of 386 people were detained across Turkey as part of investigations into the Gülen group. In a written statement, Interior Ministry said 386 were detained over their alleged links to the group between June 5 and 12.
On June 13, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 42 people working at Turkey’s Interior Ministry over alleged links to Turkey’s Gülen group.
On June 14, an Istanbul court sentenced main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy and a former journalist Enis Berberoğlu to 25 years in prison over a report on National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks. A report in Cumhuriyet newspaper claimed in May 2015 that MIT trucks were stopped by gendarmerie southern Turkey in early 2014 while carrying weapons and ammunition to Syria. When the story first broke out in 2015, it produced a political storm in Turkey about the role of Turkish spy agency in arming of the rebel factions in Syria and prompted an investigation into Berberoglu along with Cumhuriyet editors. The court sentenced Berberoğlu to 25 years in jail for revealing “information that was supposed to stay secret,” as he was accused of leaking footage of the MIT trucks in question to the Cumhuriyet editors. The court in charge ruled to arrest Berberoglu immediately after the hearing.
On June 14, the Kayseri Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 14 businessmen as part of an investigation targeting people linked to Turkey’s Gülen group, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
On June 14, the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 189 lawyers as part of an investigation targeting people linked to Turkey’s Gülen group, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Turkey experienced 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.
The movement denies any involvement.
More than 135,000 people have been purged from state bodies and 48,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.