Detention warrants issued for 79 Ankara Municipality personnel over Gülenist links

Detention warrants issued for 79 Ankara Municipality personnel over Gülenist links

Detention warrants issued for 79 Ankara Municipality personnel over Gülenist links A total of 79 detention warrants were issued for Ankara Municipality personnel over suspected links to the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, widely believed to have masterminded the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt. 

Some 60 warrants were issued for personnel working at the provincial municipality and 19 were issued for employees of district municipalities in an investigation carried out by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. 

Early on May 24 operations were launched to apprehend suspects sought over their use of the encrypted smartphone application ByLock, which came to prominence after it emerged that the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) used it to communicate. 

At least 39 suspects were detained in operations targeting personnel in the Keçiören, Sincan and Kahramankazan municipalities. 

Some 56 were still working in the municipalities, while 23 of them were dismissed from their duties after the attempted takeover, according to state-run Anadolu Agency. 

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Pursaklar district head, identified only by the initials M.K., is also among those detained.

Some 30 detention warrants were also issued for former personnel of the development and education ministries. The 60 sought suspects were dismissed from their posts with state of emergency decrees, Anadolu Agency also said. 

Turkey declared a state of emergency after the thwarted coup and has been issuing decrees that have led to the dismissals or suspensions of thousands ever since. 

In addition, another operation against FETÖ was launched in six provinces as part of ten investigations carried out by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. 

A total of 75 detention warrants were issued on May 24 and at least 45 suspects, including prison guards, were detained in an operation into the prison structuring of the Gülenist network. Silivri Prison in Istanbul was among the prisons targeted in the operation.

Five of those detained were previously dismissed and 40 were still on duty. 

Moreover, the police have determined a group of 10 people with suspected links to Gülenists who seized state secrets by illegal means, before sharing them on social media through fake accounts. 

Chief Public Prosecutor Oğuzhan Murat in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri launched an investigation into FETÖ after receiving intelligence that state secrets were published online. A special team was formed and five months of technical and physical tracking was done. 

Simultaneous operations were carried out in Kayseri, Istanbul, the western province of İzmir, the northwestern province of Bursa, the Central Anatolian provinces of Çankırı and Aksaray and the southern province of Hatay, and 10 people were detained. 

Police said they seized many digital documents during the operations. 

The group was reportedly getting hold of documents and information regarding President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, National Intelligence Agency (MİT) head Hakan Fidan, ministers and deputies. 

The suspects were taken to the police headquarters in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri.

Elsewhere, some 20 suspects, including businesspeople, were detained in an operation into Gülenists in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.