Nov 17 2017

Police arrest 21 staff at Turkish university

Turkish police have raided Istanbul’s Marmara University and arrested 21 staff in an anti-terror operation, Cumhuriyet said on Friday.

A warrant had been issued for a total of 42 personnel at the university on suspicion of being members of the Gülen movement, a religious group that is accused of having masterminded a failed coup in July 2016. The other staff were absent during the police raid.

The evidence against them, Cumhuriyet said, was either based on their holding accounts at Gülen movement-linked Bank Asya, or using the telephone communication application ByLock, which has been associated with movement membership.

Police also searched the rooms of suspects for evidence.

The university, known for its anti-Communist student body during the Cold War era, is the alma mater of both President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Good Party leader Meral Akşener, as well as employing former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu before he went into politics.

However, some of Erdoğan’s critics have claimed he never actually graduated, and thus said he does not pass the requirement to be a university graduate necessary to be president.