}

 

The new Turkey
Purges in Turkey

Last update: 09-Jul-2020

Editors/journalists who are wanted, arrested, imprisoned, accused, convicted or acquitted

Purges of academics

Republican People’s Party (CHP) elected

Fethullah Gulen followers.

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) elected


Judges and Lawyers.



Media in Turkey


7 Juy 2020:

Turkey shot itself in the foot by purging the bulk of its F-16 pilots

Turkey finds itself in the unenviable position of having almost nobody to fly its 245-strong fleet of F-16s after purging its air force of qualified pilots in the wake of a failed coup in 2016, according to a piece by Michael Peck in The National Interest published on Monday.

Citing the extremely high cost of training fighter pilots, Peck says that “… a nation that throws its fighter pilots in jail is not just wasting money, but also an extremely valuable resource. Yet in the name of politics, Turkey’s government has purged its air force so badly that it can barely fly its F-16 fighters.”

Turkey has been looking overseas for help in making up the shortfall in qualified pilots, but Washington rejected a request to provide flight instructors, and US arms export rules could be violated by having Pakistan train Turkish pilots. “In a sign of desperation, ‘the Turkish government has issued a decree that threatens 330 former pilots with the revocation of their civil pilot license, unless they return to Air Force duty for four years’ …” Peck says, citing an Atlantic Council report, adding that a return to service could impact unit morale.Read the full article


23 June 2020:

Turkish court upholds prison sentence for main opposition Istanbul chair Kaftancıoğlu

An appeals court in Ankara has upheld a prison sentence for the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul provincial chairwoman Canan Kaftancıoğlu, on charges including terrorist propaganda and insulting the president, Habertürk reported on Tuesday.

Kaftancıoğlu was sentenced to nine years, eight months and 20 days in prison in September of 2019 on a string of charges, including  "insulting the president," "inciting people to animosity and hatred," and "conducting propoganda for a terrorist organisation."

The Istanbul provincial head became a rising star in the opposition after the March 31 local elections, and is credited as the person behind the CHP's victory in Istanbul, which had been controlled by Islamist parties since 1994.

The ruling arrives on the anniversary of a revote in Istanbul after the ruling Justice and Development Party contested the initial polls. Kaftancıoğlu may appeal the decision with the Supreme Court.


22 June 2020.

Turkey suspends main opposition CHP mayor in northwestern province of Balıkesir

The Turkish Interior Ministry has dismissed a main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) mayor in the northwestern province of Balıkesir after a court upheld a jail sentence on charges of tender corruption. The dismissal of Erdek mayor Hüseyin Sarı follows the approval of a one-month, 15-day jail sentence over two separate cases of corruption in municipal tenders, Birgün newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The court in the northwestern town of Bandırma ruled that Sarı had  “intentionally prevented free competition in both tenders and ensured the tenders took place with only one participant,” Birgün said.

This is not Sarı’s first removal from the mayoral seat. In March of 2019, the CHP mayor was sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in prison for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, prompting the Interior Ministry to suspend him from his post.  Sarı was re-elected as mayor of Erdek in the local elections of March 2019, receiving 52 percent support.



22 June 2020:

Turkey arrests 438 detainees in İzmir-based probes into military members in last 7 months

Turkish courts in the past half year have arrested 438 suspects out of 847 detainees who were taken into police custody in six separate investigations into the Gülen movement, which is accused of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt despite its strong denial of any involvement.

The detentions were conducted between November and June, with the İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office’s issuance of detention warrants for 928 suspects, including 631 active duty military members, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

The other suspects include former soldiers and former military cadets. The prosecutors charged the suspects with membership in the movement, seeking their detention even though they did not participate in the abortive putsch.


16 June 2020:

Turkey orders detention of 174 active duty soldiers, 174 others in post-coup crackdown

Turkish prosecutors on Tuesday ordered the detention of 348 people as part of a post-coup crackdown targeting the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused of orchestrating an abortive putsch in 2016 despite its strong denial of any involvement. The detention orders mainly targeted military members, with 174 of the suspects active duty soldiers and 107 retired soldiers and former military cadets.

The İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office ordered the detention of 167 people, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency. At least 100 of the suspects were detained in police raids in 56 provinces, the report indicated. Prosecutors in İstanbul and Çanakkale issued detention warrants for 114 active duty and retired military members over alleged Gülen links.

Since the coup attempt, nearly 20,000 soldiers have been dismissed from the Turkish Armed Forces, according to the defense ministry. Meanwhile, police in Ankara and Balıkesir raided residences following the issuance of detention warrants for 67 people who are accused of membership in the Gülen movement.


Arrest warrants out for FETÖ terror suspects across Turkey

Turkish security authorities on Tuesday launched multiple operations in various provinces to arrest terror suspects affiliated with the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) which is behind the bloody failed coup attempt of 2016.

Prosecutors issued arrest warrants for a total of 191 suspects, including 181 on-duty members of the Turkish air force, and security forces launched Izmir-based simultaneous operations in 22 provinces. Security sources also announced that 145 of the suspects were arrested.

Separately, prosecutors issued arrest warrants for a total of 44 suspects, including eight on-duty members of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), and security forces launched Istanbul-based simultaneous operations in eight provinces. Security sources said 33 of the suspects were arrested.

Prosecutors in the capital Ankara also issued arrest warrants for a total of 32 suspects, including 13 on-duty members of the Turkish air force. Security sources announced that 25 of the suspects were arrested in simultaneous operations in 14 provinces. In another Ankara-based operation, prosecutors also issued arrest warrants for eight suspects, including an on-duty member of the Turkish Gendarmerie General Command (JGK).

More than 100 arrested in nationwide FETÖ operations

Turkish police on Friday arrested at least 94 people for suspected ties to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt against the Turkish government.

Prosecutors in the Aegean province of Izmir issued warrants for 31 suspects accused of using ByLock, an encrypted messaging app developed and exclusively used by FETÖ members, according to authorities.

FETÖ, known for its secretive methods of communication, utilized everything from in-game chats in mobile games to payphones to convey messages between its members. ByLock is the most well-known app used by FETÖ members, and its use was discovered before the 2016 coup attempt.

The suspects were caught in 27 simultaneous operations across the city, authorities said, adding that a total of nearly $100,000 (nearly TL 677,000) was seized in various currencies, which was suspected to be used for funding the terrorist group.

Prosecutors in the capital Ankara issued arrest warrants for 37 other suspects in a similar probe. The authorities said suspects were arrested in early morning raids, with more than $40,000 seized in one of the suspects’ homes. The suspects are being charged with membership to an armed terrorist group.

Elsewhere, 26 suspects were arrested in the southern Mersin province. According to a statement by Mersin prosecutors, the suspects were arrested for being members of the civilian branch of the terrorist organization.

In the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, prosecutors also ordered the arrest of 18 active military personnel in a case regarding the terrorist group's infiltration into the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). The authorities said 15 of the suspects were captured, and a manhunt was underway to find the remaining three.

The terrorist group is known for its widespread infiltration of the army, law enforcement, the judiciary and bureaucracy. In December 2013, its members in the police force and courts attempted to topple the government under the guise of a graft probe targeting government officials. It was the first time the terrorist group openly waged war against the government using its infiltrators.

When it failed, they made another attempt on July 15, 2016, employing infiltrators in the TSK to seize power by force. A total of 251 people were killed and nearly 2,200 others were injured in FETÖ's bloodiest attempt to date. What followed was a barrage of investigations against the terrorist group. Turkey lifted the state of emergency imposed after the coup attempt but three years on, operations continue against FETÖ.


13 arrested in operations against FETÖ in Turkey

Turkish security forces rounded up 13 suspects in operations in seven cities against the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) on Wednesday.

Prosecutors in the central city of Konya issued arrest warrants for 20 suspects including active-duty soldiers linked to the terrorist group behind the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Suspects were part of a secret military network and were identified through their contacts with the terrorist group’s handlers through payphones. A manhunt is underway to capture the seven suspects.

The Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday that 4,562 soldiers were dismissed from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) for their suspected links to FETÖ since a state of emergency, which was imposed after the putsch, was lifted in July 2018


3 June 2020:

Over 4,000 military personnel expelled since Turkey’s 2018 lifting of state of emergency

Turkey expelled over 4,00 military personnel from its army and stripped 531 retired soldiers of their ranks after the country’s two-year state of emergency was lifted in 2018, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Wednesday.

A total of 4,562 personnel have been expelled from the Turkish Armed Forces on the approval of the Defence Minister Hulusi Akar since the end of the state of emergency, which Turkey’s government launched after the failed 2016 coup attemp, the agency said.

"As with all terrorist organisations, our fight against FETÖ continues with determination," Anadolu quoted Akar as saying, in reference to the Gülen movement. “We are working closely with judicial and intelligence agencies.”

Turkish authorities have carried out a sustained crackdown on alleged followers of U.S.-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen since Turkey’s failed 2016 coup in July 2016. The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of staging the failed putsch, leading to the dismissal of over 19,000 military personnel, according to official records, over alleged ties with the organisation. Read the full artile


22 May 2020:

Turkish military has purged 19,495 members since 2016 coup attempt

A total of 19,495 military members have been purged from the Turkish Armed Forces since a failed 2016 coup, the defense ministry said on Friday, according to the Turkish media. Turkey accuses the faith-based Gülen movement of orchestrating the abortive putsch, although it strongly denies any involvement.

The dismissals from the military are mainly executed over alleged ties to the movement. The Turkish government has purged some 130,000 civil servants since the coup attempt.

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20 April 2020:

Ministry says more than 5,000 TSK members under investigation over Gülen links

The Turkish Defense Ministry has announced that there are ongoing investigations into 5,034 members and staff of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, which is accused by the government of masterminding a failed coup in July 2016, according to local media reports.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

According to information from the ministry, a total of 19,397 members of the armed forces, including officers and civilian personnel, have been discharged due to Gülen links since the failed coup.

Following the coup attempt, the government launched a massive crackdown on followers of the Gülen movement under the pretext of an anti-coup fight, as a result of which more than 150,000 people were removed from state jobs while in excess of 30,000 others were jailed and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.

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9 April 2020:

Prosecuted Turkish journalists may be spared jail under new law, columnist says

A bill designed to release tens of thousands of prisoners proposed by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) may also spare journalists from being jailed for insulting the president, Hürriyet columnist Abdülkadir Selvi wrote on Thursday.

Several journalists in Turkey have been sentenced to prison on charges of insulting the president, which carries a sentence of between one and four years, while more still face similar charges. "A regulation is on the agenda for journalists and intellectuals who receive prison sentences for insults, so they can spend it by doing community service instead of going to jail," said Selvi, a columnist known for his sources in the ruling party.

The bill seeks to release a large number of people held in Turkish prisons, but excludes those found guilty of terrorism and first-degree murder.  This means the new law excludes journalists, opposition politicians, human rights defenders and dismissed public officials jailed for links to what Turkey calls terrorist organisations.

23 March 2020:

Turkey detains 5 more Kurdish mayors amid widening crackdown against HDP

Turkish authorities detained the mayors of five municipalities in Kurdish-majority areas on Monday as part of a widening government crackdown on the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the party’s co-leader said, according to Reuters.

Mithat Sancar told reporters security forces had besieged municipal buildings in the southeastern province of Batman as well as those in the Egil, Silvan, Lice and Ergani districts of Diyarbakir province on Monday morning.

He said five co-mayors in four municipalities were detained. He did not give details about the mayor of Lice but said another co-mayor who had previously been dismissed was also being held.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government accuse the HDP of links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, leading to prosecutions of thousands of its members and some leaders. The HDP denies such links.

The HDP appoints one male and one female as mayor to promote gender equality, calling them co-mayors, although only one is recognized by the central government.

Sancar said the measures on Monday morning were similar to those taken when Ankara appointed trustees in other municipalities, adding that the party had not received official notification from the central government.

“We reject this vile attempt that displays enmity against Kurds even in these difficult days when the whole world is battling an epidemic,” he said.

The Interior Ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Ankara has appointed trustees to 31 municipalities won by the HDP in the March 2019 local elections, an HDP source said, adding that 21 co-mayors had been formally arrested so far, in addition to the six detained on Monday.

The former co-leaders of the HDP have both been jailed since 2016 on terrorism charges, with several other prominent members accused of supporting terrorism over what the government says are links to the PKK.

 

4 March 2020:

Turkey orders detention of 115 suspects as part of post-coup Gülen crackdown

Turkish prosecutors in İzmir, Adana and Bolu have ordered the detention of 115 suspects as part of a large-scale crackdown targeting followers of the Gülen movement, which is accused of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt despite its strong denial of any involvement.

The state-run Anadolu news agency reported that İzmir prosecutors on Wednesday issued detention warrants for 31 people over Gülen links. The chief public prosecutor’s office said the suspects are accused of rigging a police entrance exam in 2009.

Teachers, businessmen and lawyers were among the suspects in addition to former police officers.İzmir police, meanwhile, detained 53 suspects as part of Gülen-linked investigations. In Adana and Bolu provinces, a total of 31 suspects were sought by prosecutors in Gülen-related probes. Twenty-two of the suspects in Adana were former police officers.

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21 February 2020:

Latest figures show 26,862 people in jail over Gülen links

According to the latest figures, 26,862 people are in jail due to links to the Gülen movement, which is accused of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt despite its strong denial of any involvement. Officials from Turkey’s Justice Ministry told BBC Turkish service that as of Feb. 19 nearly 5,000 of them had been sentenced to prison, while the remainder are in pretrial detention.

Meanwhile, prosecutors are pursuing 69,701 investigations in which 135,708 suspects are accused of membership in the movement. In addition 42,717 trials are pending that involve 60,167 defendants accused of Gülen links.

Mass detentions in ongoing investigations are continuing on a nearly daily basis with hundreds of people detained last week, according to the report.

As part of a global crackdown targeting Gülen followers, Turkey has requested the extradition of 750 people from 101 countries, the ministry said, adding that various countries have already denied requests for 74 of them. The ministry has also applied to Interpol for the issuance of red notices for 555 suspec

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Text from:

Human Rights Council
Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review
Thirty-fifth session
20–31 January 2020
Summary of Stakeholders' submissions on Turkey

Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights page 4:

24. Many stakeholders noted members of the “Gülenist Movement” have faced intense surveillance and harassment by the security forces and more than 50,000 persons were detained and some detainees were subjected to torture. 53

SM noted that they were detained for their alleged use of ByLock, an encrypted communications app.54 AHR, JS4, JS12 and JS39 recommended revising Articles 23, 25 and 115 of the Law no. 5275 to limit the use of solitary confinement to the conditions outlined in the Nelson Mandela Rules and adopt legal regulations which would safeguard the basic needs of women prisoners in compliance with the UN Beijing Rules.55 Stakeholders observed over-crowding in prisons.56

25. AFD, ALI and JS12 reported that since the failed coup, approximately 1546 lawyers were prosecuted, 599 arrested and detained arbitrarily, including their lawyers have been arrested themselves or faced intimidation. Bar Associations and Law Societies have been closed, and 14 of the lawyers arrested were presidents (or former presidents) of their
respective provincial bar associations, with 311 lawyers convicted and sentenced.57

Turkey arrests 203 suspects in operations against Gulen movement

Authorities issued arrest warrants for 237 people associated with the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) on Tuesday. At least 203 suspects were arrested in nationwide operations while a manhunt is underway to capture the suspects at large.

The largest operations were based in İzmir, a western Turkish city where FETÖ's fugitive leader Fetullah Gülen once attracted large masses to his sermons while he was working as a preacher. Prosecutors in the city issued arrest warrants for 176 people, including active-duty soldiers and soldiers retired or dismissed from the army on suspicion of links to the terrorist group, which was behind the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Police launched operations in 49 provinces to capture the suspects, 115 of whom were arrested. Media reports say among the wanted suspects were six F-16 fighter jet pilots and four commanders of gendarme garrisons in towns.

Suspects were identified through their contacts with FETÖ's handlers for military infiltrators via pay phones. FETÖ is known for its utmost secrecy. Even when it was disguised as a religious movement, long before its coup attempts in 2016 and 2013, it managed to keep its secret members out of the public eye. Pay phones were one of the methods used to disguise contacts between its members. A new intelligence report shows that the terrorist group turned to pay phones as early as 2009 to arrange meetings of its infiltrators and their handlers.

In the capital Ankara, prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 31 suspects in a probe on FETÖ's mass infiltration into the Turkish Land Forces. Twenty-two suspects, including non-commissioned officers and four civilian handlers controlling terrorist group's military network, were arrested in operations in 10 cities. Another 14 suspects out of 30 with outstanding arrest warrants were detained in operations based in the central city of Konya. Most of them were active-duty soldiers.

In the Black Sea province of Trabzon, authorities issued arrest warrants for 10 suspects and all were captured in operations in Trabzon and five other cities. Police also detained 30 suspects linked to the terrorist group after prosecutors in the northwestern province of Kocaeli issued arrest warrants. Suspects were employees of courthouses and prisons.

Meanwhile, gendarme units in the northwestern city of Edirne arrested two FETÖ suspects who were attempting to sneak into Greece.

FETÖ posed as a religious group for years under the leadership of Gülen before it disclosed its true intention – to topple the government and create chaos in the country – in 2013 with two plots targeting people close to the government. Turkey managed to stave off these attempts and launched operations against the group, which was designated as a national security threat. In 2016, the terrorist group tried to seize power again, this time by staging a coup attempt with the aid of its infiltrators in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). This attempt was quelled too, and the group faced heightened scrutiny. Police have launched countless operations against the group since the 2016 coup attempt that killed 251 people and injured nearly 2,200 others. Hundreds of military infiltrators were discovered and arrested in investigations while tens of thousands were arrested for links to the group.

The state of emergency declared after the coup attempt sped up the crackdown on the terrorist group's infiltrators. Some FETÖ members managed to flee abroad, while others are believed to still be hiding their ties to the group. Several former members confessed to authorities that senior figures of the group trained them on how to avoid being detected while serving in the army, law enforcement or judiciary.


13 February 2020:

Turkey seeks arrest of 467 people for links to Gülen movement

Turkish prosecutors ordered the arrest of 467 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 that suspects were involved in irregularities during police promotional exams in 2009, according to Anadolu. Eight suspects have been detained so far in simultaneous operations across 67 provinces, the agency said.

Turkey blames U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen and his followers for the 2016 failed coup, and has since sacked hundreds of thousands of public officials and army personnel in a series of purges.

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24 January 2020:

40 police officers detained over alleged Gülen links

Turkish law enforcement on Friday detained 40 police officers as part of an investigation into alleged Gülen movement followers in the police force, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

The officers were detained following raids in Ankara, Konya, Gaziantep, Kayseri, Adıyaman, Adana, Trabzon, Yozgat and Bursa provinces. Ten other police officers face detention as part of the same investigation, according to Anadolu.

Since the failed coup, more than 130,000 civil servants have been removed from their jobs by the Turkish government while more than 30,000 people are still in jail due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement.More than 33,000 members of the police force have been removed from their jobs due to their alleged Gülen links since the coup attempt

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21 January 2020:

Arrest warrants issued in crackdown on FETÖ infiltrators


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21 January 2020:

Detention warrants issued for 22 including former police officers over Gülen links

Turkish prosecutors have issued detention warrants for 22 people including former police officers over alleged links to the Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup in July 2016 despite its strong denial of any involvement, according to Turkish media reports.

The detention warrants were issued by the Adana Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office as part of an investigation into alleged Gülen movement followers. Some of the individuals were detained by police teams on Tuesday following simultaneous police raids on addresses in Adana, İstanbul, Osmaniye and Isparta provinces.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the failed coup and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Since the failed coup, more than 130,000 civil servants have been removed from their jobs by the Turkish government while more than 30,000 people are still in jail due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement.

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2 January 2020:
119 people in Turkey died due to crackdown on Gülen movement in 2019

At least 119 people lost their lives in Turkey due to an ongoing government-led crackdown on the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup in July 2016, according to an online platform. The “zulümlebitenhayatlar” (lives that end due to tyranny) is an online platform that keeps track of the individuals who die due to the direct or indirect consequences of the crackdown.

According to the platform, 119 people lost their lives due to the crackdown in 2019. The platform also posted a short video that had a list of these individuals and the date on which they died.

Many people including children have drowned in the waters of the Aegean Sea or the Maritsa River while trying to flee the crackdown, while others died in prison or under detention either due to maltreatment or because they were ailing and were denied medical treatment.

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27 December 2019:

Turkey has dismissed 18,630 military members since failed 2016 coup: ministry

A total of 18,630 military members have been dismissed from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement since a coup attempt in July 2016, according to a spokesperson from the Defense Ministry, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.Turkey accuses the movement of orchestrating the failed coup, although it strongly denies any involvement.

“A total of 3,599 of them were dismissed this year,” Nadide Şebnem Aktop told a press conference at the ministry’s office in Ankara, adding that 982 retired military members were stripped of their pension rights. Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop announced on Wednesday that 30,441 police officers have been removed from their jobs due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup.

Turkey fired some 140,000 public servants in the aftermath of the failed coup due to alleged ties to terrorist organizations.

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20 December 2019:

Mayor, 190 others arrested in new wave of operations against FETÖ

Authorities arrested 191 people on Monday and Tuesday in nationwide operations against suspected members of the Gülen movement. FETÖ is under intensified scrutiny following its 2016 coup attempt.

The most high-profile name to be arrested was İbrahim Burak Oğuz, mayor of Urla, a town in the western province of İzmir. Oğuz, who was elected as mayor from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) in the March 31 elections, was arrested for his close ties to the terrorist group.

Prosecutors accuse him of contacts with senior figures in FETÖ. Oğuz was a board member of a business association in İzmir which was closed down for its links to the terrorist group. Oğuz is also accused of spreading the terrorist group’s propaganda as a “sohbet” leader. Sohbet, meaning conversation in Turkish, is a term used to describe meetings of the terrorist group where one high-ranking member speaks on religious matters and on the planning of secret activities.

The suspect was also in contact with the group’s handlers for infiltrators in law enforcement, the judiciary, bureaucracy, military, etc. In his first testimony to police, Oğuz rejected the accusations and claimed he might have contacted FETÖ members due to his previous profession as a financial adviser.

FETÖ is known for planting its members in political parties. So far, authorities have accused four advisers of CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of having links to FETÖ. One of them, Ahmet Caner Yenidünya, who was also nominated for a parliamentary seat for the CHP in 2015, was dismissed from his post at a university in Istanbul for his links to the terrorist group. Fatih Gürsul, another adviser, was convicted of FETÖ membership and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The biggest operation was in the capital Ankara on Tuesday. The chief prosecutor’s office in the capital issued arrest warrants for 260 suspects and 171 of them were detained while the manhunt is underway to capture the others. They were arrested as part of an investigation into encrypted messaging app Bylock and all are accused of using Bylock. Bylock is an app developed and exclusively used by FETÖ members for secret communication. It was discovered during criminal inquiries into the terrorist group, whose criminal activities have been under the spotlight since its two coup attempts in 2013.

The National Intelligence Organization (MİT) uncovered the messaging app apparently programmed – or modified for the exclusive use of the group's – by someone linked to FETÖ. According to media reports, police intelligence staff linked to the terrorist group were behind the app. The FETÖ-linked staff working in a powerful intelligence department of the Turkish National Police were the "architects" of the modified app to serve the purposes of the group. A group of intelligence officers is accused of controlling the private app used to deliver FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen's messages to his followers, as well as to instruct the group's members on how to carry out plots against “foes” of the group.

Millions of Bylock messages exchanged between FETÖ members have been uncovered, while investigations continue to reveal more messages.

Among those arrested in Tuesday’s operations was the daughter of a former member of the Supreme Court of Appeals who upheld a controversial case later revealed to be a sham trial orchestrated by FETÖ, and the wife of another former member of the same court. Media outlets reported the suspects were employees of private and public sector companies.

Also in Ankara, prosecutors ordered the arrest of 18 suspects in an investigation into FETÖ’s infiltration into the Health Ministry and public hospitals. Five suspects were still on active duty while the rest were already dismissed from their jobs on suspicion of having links with the terrorist group. Ten suspects in the case were arrested in operations in Ankara and four other cities.

In the southern province of Gaziantep, prosecutors ordered the arrest of nine FETÖ members who infiltrated the judiciary. The suspects, including court clerks and prison guards, were captured in operations in Gaziantep, Diyarbakır, Adıyaman and Kilis



11 December 2019:

64 detained as part of operations targeting Gülen movement members

Turkish police teams on Wednesday detained 64 individuals across the provinces of İstanbul, Adana, Tokat and İzmir due to alleged links to the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a coup attempt in July 2016.

In İstanbul police teams raided 33 residences and detained 22 alleged members of the Gülen movement as part of an investigation conducted by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

In the western province of İzmir, 11 people were detained, while 15 others were taken into custody in central Tokat province and 16 were detained in the southern province of Adana following police raids. The detainees are accused of membership in a terrorist organization.

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11 December 2019:

HDP says 6,000 party officials arrested since 2015

A total of 15,530 members of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have been detained and 6,000 of them arrested since 2015, according to a report drafted by the HDP, the Bianet news website reported. The HDP publicized the report on rights violations in 2019 on the occasion of Human Rights Day, marked every Dec.10. The report showed that the number of HDP members or officials detained to date 2019 is 674, of whom 200 have been arrested.

The HDP has been one of the main targets of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) particularly after a coup attempt in July 2016, following which the government launched a massive crackdown on its opponents under the pretext of an anti-coup fight.

The report also showed that 20 co-mayors elected from the HDP in the March 31 local elections have been arrested, while 28 co-mayors have been removed from office on terrorism allegations. The controversial practice of removing and arresting mayors was also widely implemented during Turkey’s two-year-long state of emergency following the attempted coup in 2016.

Ankara accuses the HDP of links to militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been waging a bloody war in Turkey’s Southeast since 1984.

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Turkey sends 3 more Kurdish mayors to prison on terror charges

A Turkish court has arrested three district mayors in the country’s Southeast who were previously removed from office by the Interior Ministry, the Turkish media reported.Savur district Co-mayor Gülistan Öncü, Mazıdağı district Co-mayor Nalan Özaydın and Derik district Co-mayor Mülkiye Esmez, all in Mardin province, who were detained following police raids on Nov.15, were arrested on Tuesday.

The mayors face charges of membership in a terrorist organization.

Ankara accuses the the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of links to militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). It has now replaced some 15 mayors from the HDP on alleged links to terrorism since municipal elections in March. In August Turkey first removed the mayors of Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van, three metropolitan cities won by the HDP.

All the mayors, who were democratically elected in local elections on March 31, have been removed from office by Turkey’s Interior Ministry.

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28 November 2019:

Thousands of pro-Kurdish party members detained in Turkey since 2015

Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Mehmet Rüştü Tiryaki on Thursday said thousands of members of the party have been detained since 2015, Mezopotamya news agency reported.

Following the collapse of a peace process between the AKP government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in 2015, Turkish authorities have intensified a crackdown on the HDP, which it accuses of harbouring sympathies and acting in the interests of the PKK, an armed group that has been in war in Turkey for over three decades. 16,300 HDP members have been detained and 3,500 of those were imprisoned, Tiryaki said, according to Mezopotamya.

The Turkish police on Wednesday carried out simultaneous raids in several cities across Turkey and detained various people including HDP politicians, trade unionists and human rights activists, the news agency said. The aim of the detentions was to spread fear to the society and curb the ones who oppose the government, said Selvi Turgut, a member of the Human Rights Association (IHD).

"These practices bring uncertainty. Most of the people were released on probation," Turgut said. Some 450,000 of HDP members are now on probation and they are banned from travelling abroad and forced to report to police stations, according to Turgut.

6 November 2019:

Presidential board vows to give no ground in fight against Gülen movement

Turkey’s newly established Presidential Higher Advisory Board led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has voiced its determination to continue with an unprecedented crackdown on followers of the Gülen movement without making any compromises, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Following a three-hour meeting at Erdoğan’s presidential palace in Ankara on Tuesday, the board released a statement in which it emphasized the importance of the continuation of the fight against the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup in July 2016.

Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government label the movement as a terrorist organization named “Fetö,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

In its statement the board said compromises would never be made in the “decisive fight against Fetö, which is the culprit of the heinous July 15 coup attempt.” The board also said attitudes and actions that are likely to weaken the fight against the movement would never be allowed.

Following the coup attempt, the Turkish government launched a massive crackdown on followers of the movement under the pretext of an anti-coup fight as a result of which more than 150,000 people were removed from state jobs while in excess of 30,000 others were jailed and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.

The board, which was established by a presidential decree in May, comprises former AKP heavyweights who are no longer members of parliament such as Bülent Arınç, İsmail Kahraman, Mehmet Ali Şahin and Köksal Toptan.

In the meantime, Erdoğan at his party’s parliamentary group meeting earlier on Tuesday said he regrets recent remarks from Arınç, who described the post-coup government decrees as a “disaster.”

Arınç also apologized for the purge of the thousands of civil servants from their jobs.

“There are so many people around me who suffered this tragedy. I feel sorry for them, I have sympathy for them. I am actually apologizing to them. I feel so ashamed when I see the woman who comes to my house to clean because she was purged as the director [of a state agency]. A police officer whose spouse, a fellow police officer, was also purged,” he said



1 November 2019:

Offering apology, Erdoğan aide calls post-coup purge of public servants a ‘disaster’

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Parliament Speaker Bülent Arınç, who is currently a member of the Presidential Higher Advisory Board, has described the purge of thousands of civil servants from their jobs in the aftermath of a failed coup as a “disaster,” offering his apologies to the purge victims.

Arınç’s remarks came during an interview on Thursday on the YouTube channel of Kemal Öztürk, the Anadolu news agency’s former general manager.

“There are so many people around me who suffered this tragedy. I feel sorry for them, I have sympathy for them. I am actually apologizing to them. I feel so ashamed when I see the woman who comes to my house to clean because she was purged as the director [of a state agency]. A police officer whose spouse, a fellow police officer, was also purged,” he said.

Turkey experienced a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that claimed the lives of 249 people and injured a thousand others.

Immediately after the abortive putsch the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement and labeled it as a terrorist organization, while the movement has consistently denied any involvement in the coup or terrorism.

The government, which declared a state of emergency (OHAL) in the aftermath of the coup attempt, removed 150,000 public servants from their jobs through government decrees, known as KHKs, while 30,000 others have been jailed under the pretext of an anti-coup fight.

Arınç also denied having any role in the issuing of the controversial government decrees that affected the lives of so many people.

“They portray me as a person who played a role in the purge of the government workers during the OHAL period. This is a complete lie. … I left active politics during the June 7, 2015 general elections, I did not become a member of parliament. I withdrew from active politics one year before the coup attempt. So I have no signatures on the decrees and bear no responsibility for them,” said Arınç .

Arınç also said an OHAL commission established by the government to look into complaints from individuals who were affected by government decrees during OHAL was not functioning properly.

The OHAL commission rejected 77,600 applications out of the 126,200 it has processed since its establishment in summer 2017, according to a written statement from the commission in August.

After several years of a break from politics, Arınç was appointed as a member of the Presidential Higher Advisory Board by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in May.


Main opposition lawmakers face trial over insulting Turkish president

Sixty officials from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) are facing charges of insulting the president over the party's statement on the 2016 failed coup attempt, left-leaning daily Birgün reported on Monday.

Following the failed putsch of July 15, 2016, which Ankara maintains was orchestrated by followers of the Islamist cleric Fethullah Gülen, the 60 members of the CHP party council, the party’s highest body, released a statement criticising the ruling party and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over their links to the Gülen movement.

The statement accused Erdoğan and Justice and Development Party (AKP) government of helping the Gülen movement to infiltrate Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

Years before ruling party listed his movement as a terrorist group, Gülen and his followers were praised and supported by top AKP officials during a period when Gülenists in the judiciary and police forces are widely believed to have targeted secularist state officials and military officers in a series of discredited trials.

During the trials, Erdoğan famously declared himself to be the prosecutor to signal his support for the legal action. Courts later overturned the trials, and the president said his party had been tricked by Gülenists.

Responding to the charges against the CHP, party council member and Eskişehir deputy Gaye Usluer said Erdoğan was hiding behind his position as president to undermine his critics.

In Turkey, insulting the president carries a jail sentence of between one and four years.

The Turkish government has charged thousands of citizens for insulting Erdoğan in social media posts, cartoons, news reports and other media since he assumed office as president in 2014.


24 October 2019:

Turkish Parliament receives 30 summaries of proceedings for 19 HDP deputies

The Turkish Parliament has received 30 summaries of proceedings on terrorism charges against 19 deputies from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), including Sezai Temelli and Pervin Buldan, the party’s co-chairs, the Diken news website reported.

According to the report, as of Oct. 7, 758 summaries of proceedings for 171 deputies have been pending in parliament. If parliament votes to strip the deputies of their immunity from prosecution, they will be tried by Turkish courts. In November 2016, after parliament removed the immunity of deputies who had been charged by prosecutors, the HDP’s then-co-chairs, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, were arrested.

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Main opposition lawmakers face trial over insulting Turkish president

Sixty officials from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) are facing charges of insulting the president over the party's statement on the 2016 failed coup attempt, left-leaning daily Birgün reported on Monday.

Following the failed putsch of July 15, 2016, which Ankara maintains was orchestrated by followers of the Islamist cleric Fethullah Gülen, the 60 members of the CHP party council, the party’s highest body, released a statement criticising the ruling party and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over their links to the Gülen movement.

The statement accused Erdoğan and Justice and Development Party (AKP) government of helping the Gülen movement to infiltrate Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

Years before ruling party listed his movement as a terrorist group, Gülen and his followers were praised and supported by top AKP officials during a period when Gülenists in the judiciary and police forces are widely believed to have targeted secularist state officials and military officers in a series of discredited trials. Read the full article

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Prosecutor asks parliament permission to prosecute Kurdish deputy on terrorism charge

A Diyarbakır prosecutor has submitted a summary of proceedings to the Turkish parliament accusing Leyla Güven, a deputy from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), of disseminating terrorist propaganda, the Mezapotamya news agency reported on Tuesday. The prosecutor cited one of Güven’s speeches delivered on Sept. 11 in Diyarbakır as evidence.

In the highly disputed speech, the Kurdish deputy harshly criticized the government for removing three Kurdish mayors in Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van over alleged terrorism charges. Güven said as long as the Kurdish question remained unresolved, young people would continue to join the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group and armed conflict would be prolonged.



4 October 2019:

Former HDP deputy released from prison after Turkey's Constitutional Court ruling

A jailed former member of parliament for the pro-Kurdish party, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, was released from prison on Friday after Turkish Constitutional Court ruled that his conviction violated his rights, secularist opposition daily Cumhuriyet reported. The Turkish Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled that sentencing the former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy for statements he made during speeches in 2013 was a violation of his right to freedom of expression.

In an interview after his release, Önder said Turkey’s Constitutional Court's ruling on July 26 that the Turkish judiciary had violated academics’ right to freedom of expression by charging them with terror offences for signing a petition for peace was a breaking point. "Prisons became a natural station waiting for those who struggle for peace and democracy in this country," Önder said to T24.


Turkish court issues second arrest warrant in a week for jailed former HDP leader

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22 September 2019:

Tens of thousands under confidential investigation over Gülen links

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18 September 2019:

Turkey arrests 111 military members over Gülen links

An İstanbul court tuled to arrest 111 noncommissioned officers who were detained a few days earlier as part of a large-scale crackdown on followers of the faith-based Gülen movement, the Diken news website reported.

Detention warrants were issued for a total of 222 officers. At least 141 suspects were taken into police custody after raids in 54 provinces and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC). A total of 138 were subsequently referred to court after their questioning by the chief public prosecutor’s office.

The court ordered the release of 27 officers pending trial while ruling to arrest the others. Turkey accuses the movement of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016, although it strongly denies any involvement. Since the abortive putsch, over 17,000 soldiers have been dismissed from the Turkish Armed Forces due to alleged links to the movement.

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18 September 2019:

Islamist opposition party’s former chair faces 9-year sentence over Gülen links

Turkey’s new marginalised minority

* https://turkeypurge.com/