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Turkey arrests Gulen supporters over police exam

February 12, 2019

Authorities in Turkey have launched a fresh clampdown on suspected followers of Fethullah Gulen over a 2010 police exam. Prosecutors say answers were leaked to Gulen followers to boost their chances of promotion.

Turkish police wearing gas masks
Image: Getty Images/AFP/Y. Akgul

Turkish authorities detained more than 600 people in nationwide raids on Tuesday as part of a major crackdown against people suspected of links with Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen . 

The US-based cleric is accused of ordering a 2016 coup in Turkey — a claim Gulen strongly denies. 

According to the Anadolu news agency, the crackdown focuses on a 2010 exam taken by police officers who wanted to become deputy inspectors. Prosecutors say questions were leaked to Gulen followers before the test.

The detentions follow reports that Turkish officials ordered 1,112 suspects to be arrested in one of the biggest offensives against Gulen's religious network since the 2016 failed military takeover.

Ankara's public prosecutor's office, which is leading a probe into the failed putsch, said 130 of the suspects were deputy police chiefs still on active duty.

Read more: Turkey sacks thousands of police officers, soldiers over 'national security' concerns

The Tuesday clampdown was focusing on the capital, Ankara, but arrests were also made in 76 other provinces, CNN Turk said.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames Gulen and his followers for the attempted coup, which claimed 250 lives. Gulen denies involvement.

Over 218,000 people have been arrested since the 2016 coup attempt and some 77,000 remain jailed pending trial. 

Authorities have fired or suspended some 150,000 state employees, including many high-ranking generals and judges. 

kw,dj/jm (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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