Turkey seeks 74 former police officers for alleged Gülen links

Turkish prosecutors ordered the arrest of 74 former police officers, who were earlier dismissed from their posts due to links to an outlawed Islamist group accused of attempting to carry out a coup in July 2016, to face charges of links to the group, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Tuesday.

Seventy-four suspects, including six police chiefs, 11 deputy police chiefs, and 58 police officers, are being sought in simultaneous operations across 13 provinces, the agency said. 

The authorities said the warrants were ordered when an ongoing crackdown on the Gülen movement revealed that suspects were involved in communication networks between the group and its members within the police, according to Anadolu. 

Turkey blames U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen and his followers for the 2016 failed coup, and has since sacked hundreds of thousands of public officials and army personnel in a series of purges.

During an alliance with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party, the Gülen movement is accused of infiltrating its acolytes into influential positions in the armed forces, judiciary, police, civil service and the media. The two wings of Turkey’s Islamist movement later fell out with a final breach coming in late 2013.