40,000 denounced to police as Gülenists in Ankara
REUTERS photoSome 40,000 people in total have been denounced to police in Ankara as followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen since the failed coup attempt of July 15.
The informants include those who have denounced their parents, children, relatives and neighbors, daily Habertürk reported on Oct. 11.
Denunciations started to pour into Ankara counter-terrorism police immediately after the thwarting of the coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by the Gülen movement.
Counter-terrorism police are concerned that a majority of the denunciations are unfounded, with sources saying some of the information is based on “grudges and hatred” stemming from “personal problems.”
However, police also stress that all allegations are being investigated.
“Unfounded claims take up a lot of our time and hamper our other duties. We call on all citizens to act sensitively on this issue,” a security source told daily Habertürk.
“There are fathers who denounce their sons, wives who denounce their husbands, citizens who denounce their neighbors. Of course, all the information coming from the informants is evaluated and put into the necessary process. We have to separate the unfounded claims from the real ones. If the denunciation clearly aims to simply defame someone, then we take action against the person who has made the unfounded denunciation,” the source added.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım previously said that anonymous denunciations would be discarded in probes into the Gülenist movement, adding that “unjust treatment” was resulting from some of the testimonies.
“For example, some who hate each other, or who simply disagree on things, or those who want to replace others in their positions, may denounce their rivals with the benefit of anonymity. Unjust treatment is the result,” Yıldırım told reporters in Ankara on Sept. 23.
Elsewhere, Istanbul prosecutors have issued warrants for a total of 125 Istanbul Police Department personnel as part of a probe into the Gülenist movement on suspicions that the personnel were using the ByLock program, a messaging application that is said to have been used by the group for concealed conversations.
Thirty of the suspects were reported to be deputy police chiefs.
The warrants were the latest in a series of such orders issued on charges related to use of ByLock, through which the intelligence service detected approximately 40,000 members of the organization that is believed to have been behind the failed takeover.
More than 160 detention orders were issued on Oct. 7 for security personnel at the Istanbul Police Department over their alleged links to Gülenists, after they were also suspected of being ByLock users.
Meanwhile, a brawl erupted during the sitting of a commission that was formed and approved by the Turkish parliament to investigate the failed coup bid, forcing the declaration of a 15-minute break.
The commission is made up of deputies from all four of Turkey’s political parties with seats in parliament. It held its debut meeting on Oct. 7.
Nine lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), four lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), one lawmaker from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and one lawmaker from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) were named to the commission.