50 detained for alleged ties to US-based Islamic scholar
Former rector of Süleyman Demirel University, Professor Hasan İbicioğluA total of 50 people, including a former university rector, have been detained in western Turkey for having links to the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization” (FETÖ), a group accused of being formed and headed by U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen to undermine the state from within.
Among a total of 56 who were issued detention warrants, 50 individuals, including the former rector of Süleyman Demirel University, were detained in the western Turkish province of Isparta early March 14 within an investigation covering four provinces that was launched by the Isparta Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported on March 14.
Among those who were detained were several academics and businessmen, with efforts reportedly underway by the local police to detain the other six.
Gülen is accused by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and people from his inner circle as well as leading figures from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of forming and heading FETÖ - sometimes publicly referred to as the “parallel state” or PDY - to overthrow the Turkish government with his sympathizers allegedly working the country’s police force and other state institutions. The Islamic cleric based in Pennsylvania is the main suspect in a case of mass wiretapping which targeted more than 7,000 people while Erdoğan was Turkey’s prime minister.