Turkey arrests more than a hundred soldiers over alleged Gulen links

Among those arrested were several high-ranking officers on active duty. The move comes shortly after 15,000 soldiers and police officers were fired under a state of emergency.


Turkey’s chief prosecutor on Friday ordered the detention of more than 100 soldiers in the air force for suspected links to Fethullah Gulen, a self-exiled cleric, a self-exile cleric and former ally of the Turkish president, who the Turkish government accuses of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016.

The detainees included three colonels, two lieutenant colonels, six majors and three captains. Turkish authorities said all service members detained on Friday were on active duty.

The arrests are part of a massive crackdown Turkey has enacted since July 2016, when parts of the military attempted to oust Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and take over the government. At least 250 people were killed during the failed coup.

Post-coup crackdown

In July, Turkish authorities sacked 6,000 members of the military, along with 9,000 police officers under emergency measures.

More than 110,000 public sector workers have been dismissed and thousands more arrested by decrees issued by Turkey during a state of emergency declared in the wake of the coup.

Read more: From ally to scapegoat: Fethullah Gulen, the man behind the myth

But human rights groups and critics have accused Erdogan of using state of emergency powers to quash opposition to his rule. Gulen, the self-exiled cleric, has rejected Turkish allegations that he was the mastermind behind the failed coup.


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  1. What would really be revealing would be to know the ethnicity of the accused soldiers. Erdogan is an ethnic Laz (a Georgian people; but with putative links to the Luri, Lashari & some Kurdish tribes). As is the majority of the Turkish military command. My spiritual master Shaikh Nazim Al Qibrisi was critical, though not condemning, of the Laz element in the military, constantly reminding them how half the Ottoman dead in Gallipoli were Kurds.

    It may also be pointed out that my spiritual master Shaikh Nazim Adil Al Haqqani Al Qibrisi was revered by Erdogan. In fact he sent his doctors to care for him during his last days. As did Adnan Oktar (aka Haroon Yahya). Shaikh Nazim’s son & spiritual successor, Shaikh Mehmet pointed out in a sohbet (discourse), during the government crack-down following the coup attempt, that many well-meaning innocent people participated in the Gulen organization of schools & businesses. They did not have any evil intentions. He implored Erdogan to show restraint instead of sweeping all with the same stick. He continues to subtly implore the Erdogan government to show restraint & mercy in order to unite the people in his later sohbets.

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