Turkish prosecutors issue warrants over soldiers’ alleged links to Gülen movement

Turkish prosecutors have issued arrests warrants for 102 current and former members of Turkey’s armed forces, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Monday.

The suspects are being sought over alleged communications with members of the outlawed Gülen movement, which the Turkish government accuses of being behind a failed coup attempt in July 2016.

Fifty-six of the suspects have so far been arrested in Istanbul.

In a separate development, Anadolu said a prosecutor in the Turkish capital of Ankara issued warrants for 13 colonels, three of them in active service.

The warrants are part of a crackdown launched by the government following the coup attempt. Tens of thousands have since been imprisoned and more than 100,000 have lost their jobs.

Turkish officials say the crackdown is needed to purge those associated with the Gülen movement from positions of influence. Others suggest the Turkish government’s actions are aimed at silencing and intimidating all dissenting voices within Turkish society, pointing to the often flimsy nature of the evidence used to support accusations and charges.