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Mar 22 2019

Turkish prosecutors order detention of 18 former defence engineers

Turkish prosecutors in Ankara ordered on Friday the detention of 18 former employees of military software company Havelsan over links to Gülen movement, Duvar news site reported.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen religious movement of orchestrating a coup attempt in 2016. The movement denies any involvement in the failed putsch, in which around 250 people were killed.

The Istanbul chief prosecutor also said on Friday it had ordered the detention of 126 suspects employed in the judicial system over Gülen links. 

Of the 126 suspects, 108 were lawyers on active duty, eight were judge or prosecutor candidates who were previously removed from their positions and one was a judge or prosecutor candidate on active duty, Reuters quoted the prosecutor’s office as saying. 

More than 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial since the coup attempt and the Turkish authorities have suspended or sacked some 150,000 civil servants and military personnel that they said were linked to the Gülen movement.

The Turkish authorities in December detained nearly 50 people working for critical defence projects over alleged links to the Gülen movement. The detainees reportedly included 25 engineers working for Aselsan, Turkey’s largest defence contractor, and 17 officials from Turkish Aerospace Industries, Havelsan, the Undersecretariat of Defence Industries, and the Turkish Scientific Research institute.