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Five arrested in occupied north over links with Gulen movement

November 23, 2018 at 2:05pm

Turkish Cypriot daily Haberal Kibrisli reported on Friday that five people were arrested in the Turkish-occupied north, on suspicion of maintaining links to the Fethullah Gülen movement.

According to the paper, the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Cankiri, Turkey issued arrest warrants for nine suspects after it was found out that they were using payphones to contact persons linked with the Gulen movement.

Five out of them were arrested and Turkish authorities are searching for the others.

Turkey blames U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen for an attempted coup on July, 15 2016, against President Erdogan, in which 240 people, most of them unarmed civilians were killed.

Turkish authorities have carried out a widespread crackdown on his suspected supporters, detaining some 160,000 people, including academics, soldiers and civil servants.

Of those, 77,000 have been formally charged and kept in jail during trial, according to the interior minister.

Rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies have voiced concern about the scope of the purges, saying Erdogan had used the coup as a pretext to quash dissent.