47,155 people arrested in Gülen probe since coup attempt: Interior minister
AFP photoTurkey has arrested a total of 47,155 people accused of having links to the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), widely believed to have been behind the July 2016 failed coup attempt, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said April 2.
Speaking to a local television channel in the Black Sea province of Trabzon, Soylu said the nationwide investigation into the organization saw 113,260 detentions since the attempted takeover, which left 249 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.
“A total of 113,260 people have been detained so far regarding FETÖ and the detention proceedings of around 745 are continuing. The number of arrested people is 47,155, which is a significant number,” he said.
“There are 41,499 people released on probation and 23,861 were freed. Some 863 others remain at large. Some 10,732 of the arrested are police officers, of whom 7,463 are soldiers and 168 are generals. There are also 2,575 judges and prosecutors arrested along with 26,177 civilians and 208 local authorities,” he added.
He also noted that the proceedings against the organization have been conducted with great meticulousness.
“There is great meticulousness in the judiciary and the security forces and overall review and realization of the process regarding our works on FETÖ. This is a process directed by the ‘superior mind,’ which infiltrated the intelligence, informatics and personnel. So, a mechanism that has the ability to contact whoever it wants is created. It works with the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] when it wants and pushes other elements whenever it wants and it can have this ability,” Soylu said.
In addition, he also stressed on the significance of intelligence as part of precautions taken against the organization.
“If you do not have the intelligence, you are left in the darkness. Let’s say you have to build a station; what do we do if they do not want you on the field? We are going to the southeast and I will be meeting with district governors and visit them one by one. When it is not enough, we will meet with citizens and village guards. We are trying to shape the information that the state puts forward by checking several sources with our colleagues. This is only the beginning, but I want you to know that the field is very important on that issue,” he said.
Ankara says FETÖ is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
In the wake of the coup attempt, tens of thousands of people with alleged links to the movement have been detained, including many in the armed forces, police, judiciary, education and business sectors.