Turkish prosecutors ordered the arrest of 87 people linked to Istanbul University in an investigation targeting followers of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of being behind July’s attempted coup, media reported on Friday.
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Broadcaster CNN Turk said police carried out simultaneous raids across 12 provinces, targeting suspects including someone it said was the head of a minor political party and many professors from the university.
Some 36,000 people have been jailed pending trial and more than 100,000 sacked or suspended in the civil service, army, judiciary and other institutions under investigations linked to the July 15 putsch, in which more than 240 people were killed. Last month, police detained dozens of academics from the city’s Yildiz University in the same crackdown.
Turkey’s Western allies have voiced concern at the breadth of the purges under President Tayyip Erdogan, who has repeatedly rejected such criticism, saying Ankara is determined to root out its enemies at home and abroad. State-run Anadolu agency said the latest raids targeted the academic structure of what Ankara terms the ‘Gulenist Terror Organisation’. Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, denies involvement in the putsch.