Detention warrants issued for 300 teachers in a month in Ankara

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The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has issued detention warrants in the past month for 300 teachers who worked in schools owned by people close to the Gülen movement, the tr724 news website reported.

The schools were closed and the teachers dismissed by the government as part of a witch-hunt launched after a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Chief Public Prosecutor Yüksel Kocaman, who runs the operation targeting the Gülen movement, was the prosecutor at Pınarhisar Prison when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was jailed there for four months in 1999.

On Nov. 15, 2017 Kocaman refused to comply with a ruling from the court of cassation which said that being sympathetic to or following publications of the Gülen movement is not sufficient to declare a person a member of the movement, which was designated as a terrorist organization by President Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

Erdoğan and the AKP government pursued a crackdown on the Gülen movement following corruption operations in December 2013 in which the inner circle of the government and then-Prime Minister Erdoğan were implicated.

Erdoğan also accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.

Despite the movement strongly denying involvement in the failed coup, Erdoğan launched a witch-hunt targeting the movement following the putsch.

A total of 62,895 people were detained in 2017 as part of investigations into the movement, according to Interior Ministry reports.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Jan. 5 said 48,305 people were jailed in 2017 alone over Gülen movement links.

Soylu said on Dec. 12 that 55,665 people have been jailed and 234,419 passports have been revoked as part of investigations into the movement since the failed coup.

On Nov. 16 Soylu had said eight holdings and 1,020 companies were seized as part of operations against the movement.

The Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and other civil servants since July 15, 2016 through government decrees issued as part of an ongoing state of emergency declared after the coup attempt.

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