Political observer and owner of the MetroPoll polling company Professor Özer Sencar was detained after a police raid on his home in Ankara early Wednesday, a statement from his Twitter account announced later in the day.

“On behalf of him, we share this information with the public. Özer Sencar was detained today over a claim about him being part of the FETÖ [a term the government coined to label the Gülen movement a terrorist organization] investigation,” said the message posted from Sencar’s Twitter account.

Sencar was detained following a raid and search of his home at 6:30 a.m. and a subsequent search of the MetroPoll office, Sencar’s son Hüsrev Taha told Medyascope.

Sencar is known for his critical views of both the Gülen movement and the government.

MetroPoll is considered one of the few independent survey companies in Turkey.

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.

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.

Some 86,000 people have been purged from state bodies, nearly 41,000 detained and 22,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees included journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.


This article originally appeared in Turkish Minute on September 7.