Turkey seeks arrest of 129 people for links to Gülen movement

Turkish prosecutors ordered the arrest of 129 people to face charges of links to an outlawed Islamist group accused of attempting to carry out a coup in July 2016, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Tuesday.

The authorities said the warrants were ordered when an ongoing crackdown on the Gülen movement revealed the suspects’ involvement in the group's operations within the Turkish army, according to Anadolu. 

Turkish police have conducted anti-Gülenist raids in 67 provinces in Turkey and 83 suspects, 48 of whom are active-duty soldiers, were arrested, Anadolu said. 

The Turkish government began sweeping purges of people it accused of links to the movement after surviving the July 2016 coup attempt. Its U.S.-based leader, Islamist preacher Fethullah Gülen, denies any involvement.

During its alliance with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party, the Gülen movement had been accused of infiltrating the armed forces, judiciary, police, civil service and the media, placing its followers in influential positions. The two wings of Turkey’s Islamist movement later fell out, with a final breach coming in late 2013, when prosecutors allegedly linked to Gülenists brought corruption charges against Erdoğan’s entourage and attempted to have some of his close allies jailed.