AT least 72 people were detained on Friday in the Turkish provinces of İzmir and Malatya as part of an investigation into the Gülen group, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a coup attmept last year, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, 45 people were detained in houses in Malatya where members of the group were claimed to be hiding, in an investigation launched by the Malatya Public Prosecutor’s Office.
In a similar development in the western province Izmir, police detained 27 people including a nephew of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, the leader of the group, as part of an investigation being conducted by the Izmir Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen group.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Dec. 12 that 55,665 people had been jailed and 234,419 passports revoked as part of investigations into the Gülen group since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
The Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.
Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15, 2016 through government decrees issued as part of an ongoing state of emergency.