Turkey rounds up 15 suspects for alleged Gülen links

Security forces have detained 15 suspects over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, an outlawed religious group Ankara blames for orchestrating several attempts to overthrow the Turkish government, state-run Anadolu reported on Thursday.

During simultaneous operations covering nine provinces, carried out in coordination with the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in the northern Ordu province, 13 suspects were arrested, and later released on bail.

Separately, a fugitive who had been sentenced to more than five years in prison over suspected links to the movement was arrested in the central Anatolian province of Eskişehir, while another was arrested by gendarmerie forces in the eastern Malatya province, Anadolu said.

Ankara maintains that the Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, masterminded the 2016 coup attempt. Gülen’s followers have been designated a terrorist organisation, and the government has embarked on a worldwide crackdown on the movement in the aftermath of the failed attempt. A former ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Gülen denies involvement in the failed putsch.