Turkish police arrest 80 in latest round of Gülen purge

Turkish police have arrested 45 suspected members of an outlawed religious movement accused of leaking a civil service exam and 35 former air force officers accused of being members of the same movement, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.

Turkish authorities this week issued arrest warrants for 121 suspected members of the Gülen religious movement who are accused of leaking the questions to a civil service entrance exam in 2011 in order to help fellow members infiltrate state institutions.

The Turkish government blames Gülenists for orchestrating a coup attempt in July 2016, and the movement is widely believed in Turkey to have pushed its agenda through members in Turkish institutions, especially after the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government came to power in 2002.

The 35 air force officers were detained in police operations in 27 provinces after warrants were issued for 53 people previously dismissed from air force command, Anadolu said.

The Turkish government began sweeping purges of people it accused of links to the Gülen movement after surviving the July 2016 coup attempt.

The movement’s U.S.-based leader, Islamist preacher Fethullah Gülen, denies any involvement in the coup attempt.