Turkish police detained dozens of people on Tuesday over suspected links to the Gülen movement, a religious group that the Turkish government accuses of orchestrating a military coup attempt in 2016, Reuters reported.
Turkish prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 167 suspects, most of whom are active-duty soldiers, and 121 suspects have been detained so far, the news agency said on Wednesday
The Turkish authorities began the operation from the western province of Izmir to detain 110 of the 167 suspects. They have apprehended 89 people across 26 provinces, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.
Police were searching for 57 other suspects across 15 more provinces in simultaneous operations coordinated from Istanbul. Thirty-two people have been detained in those sweeps, according to Reuters.
Separately, the security forces apprehended two people suspected of links to the Gülen movement in the northwestern province of Edirne as they attempted to cross into Greece, Anadolu said.
The Turkish government has detained thousands of people for suspected links to the movement and purged about 150,000 more from the military and state institutions since the coup attempt in July 2016. The group’s U.S.-based leader, Islamist preacher Fethullah Gülen, denies any involvement in the coup attempt.
Members of the Gülen movement had held influential positions in politics, the armed forces, judiciary, police, civil service and media before the failed coup and a crackdown on the group that preceded it.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party was previously allied with the movement. No senior members of the party have been detained or sacked for membership of the group, according to public statements.