Turkish police detain 47 people in nationwide raid over terror links

Turkish police have detained 47 people and are searching for another 64 accused of links to an outlawed religious group accused of carrying out the July 2016 coup attempt, independent news site Diken reported.

The detentions follow nationwide raids in 30 towns and 75 homes in the early hours of Saturday, it said.

Of those detained, 44 are active police officers and police are searching for another 17 people accused of terror links.

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) blames the Gülen movement, a religious group led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, for orchestrating the coup attempt, and has targeted hundreds of thousands of public officials and army personnel in a series of purges since July 2016.

The AKP government declared the movement – known in Turkey as the “Fetthulahist Terrorist Organisation”, or “FETÖ” – a terrorist organisation in 2016, months before the coup attempt took place.

Over 77,000 people accused of links to the group have been arrested and another 150,000 public employees suspended or sacked as part of a world-wide crackdown on the group by the Turkish government following the failed putsch.