Turkey has ordered the arrest of about 192 people suspected of having alleged links to the network of the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who was accused of orchestrating the 2016 attempted coup, Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Police operations targeting the followers of Gulen have been carried out regularly since the failed coup and recently have gained momentum. Authorities in Adana and Istanbul has ordered the arrest of more than of 100 military personnel suspected last week.
According to Reuters news reports, the Ankara chief prosecutor’s office said it has ordered the arrest of around 50 military suspects – 47 sergeants and three lieutenants – along with other 55 people accused of using a messaging app, named ByLock, the Hurriyet newspaper reported.
Turkey has banned ByLock messaging app in the aftermath of the failed coup, saying that the followers of Gulen used this messaging app to communicate on the night of July 15, 2016, when a group of alleged soldiers attempted to overthrow the Turkish government with killing around 250 people.
Gulen, a former ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who lived in self-proclaimed exile in the United States since 1999, has dismissed every charge and criticized the coup.
The newspaper said the prosecutor’s office in the province of Konya has ordered the arrest of about 50 people, along with military personnel and their contacts in Gulen’s network.
The prosecutor’s offices of two other provinces, Mugla and Kocaeli, has ordered the detention of around 15 and 22 military personnel respectively.
More than 77,000 people have been yet jailed pending trails, whereas 150,000 military personnel, civil servants and others have been suspended or sacked from their positions and jobs.