National Defense University administrator arrested over Gülen link

National Defense University administrator arrested over Gülen link

ANKARA - Reuters
National Defense University administrator arrested over Gülen link

An administrator of the Turkish military university, established by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to help clean up the armed forces after a 2016 failed coup, has been arrested over alleged links to the putsch, the Cumhuriyet newspaper said on May 29.

Authorities formally arrested Colonel Kadir Atakan of the National Defense University after detaining him some two weeks ago, the newspaper said. He was a director in charge of organizational matters at the school, which is not yet fully operational, the paper said.

Erdoğan had ordered the establishment of the university after the July 2016 coup attempt, when a group of rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and warplanes in an attempt to seize power. It was set up to replace the previous military academies, which were closed by an official decree after the failed putsch.

Ankara accuses the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, of having masterminded the deadly coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.

The government also believes Gülen is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the Turkish state through the infiltration of institutions, particularly the military, the police and the judiciary.

Since the putsch attempt, the Turkish state has launched a sweeping crackdown in the judiciary and other state institutions.

More detentions over FETÖ links 

At least 20 soldiers were arrested across Turkey on May 29 over suspected links to FETÖ, a security source told state-run Anadolu Agency.

The detentions came after public prosecutors in the central Kayseri province issued warrants for 41 soldiers, including 31 on-duty soldiers, as part of a probe into FETÖ’s infiltration of the military, said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The suspects were apprehended during simultaneous raids conducted across 16 provinces.