Turkey orders detention of over 170 people over alleged Gülen links

The Turkish police launched raids across the country to carry out arrest warrants on 176 people suspected of having ties to a group accused of orchestrating the July 2016 coup attempt, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The detention orders by an Izmir prosecutor were part of an investigation into members of the military and civil servants accused of being followers of U.S.-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen. Ankara believes Gülen ordered the putsch to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on July 15, 2016 and has since pursued a crackdown on followers of the 77-year-old cleric. Gülen denies involvement in the failed coup attempt.

Police conducted raids across 41 provinces, detaining 118 thus far, the agency said.

Tuesday’s raids follow the detention of more than 760 people earlier this month in operations across 76 of Turkey’s 81 provinces. Of those detained, 122 suspects were later freed under judicial supervision.

More than 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial over links to the group since the failed coup attempt and authorities have suspended or sacked 150,000 civil servants and military personnel.

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