Turkey seeks arrest of 54 soldiers in latest round of Gülen purge


Turkish prosecutors ordered the arrest of 54 soldiers over links to the Gülen movement, a religious group that Turkey accuses of masterminding the 2016 coup attempt, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Tuesday.

Turkish police conducted anti-Gülenist raids in 40 provinces in Turkey and 41 suspects, 30 of whom are active duty soldiers and 11 were sacked earlier over Gülen links, have been arrested, Anadolu said.

The Turkish government began sweeping purges of people it accused of links to the movement after surviving the July 2016 coup attempt. Its U.S.-based leader, Islamist preacher Fethullah Gülen, denies any involvement in the coup attempt.

During an alliance with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party, the Gülen movement had been accused of infiltrating its followers into influential positions in the armed forces, judiciary, police, civil service and the media. The two wings of Turkey’s Islamist movement later fell out with a final breach coming in late 2013.



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