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Hundreds ordered detained in Turkey in huge 'Gulenist sweep'

Suspected Gulen supporters have been arrested in the clampdown [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 February, 2019

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Turkey has ordered the arrest of 1,112 people for their alleged links to an exiled cleric blamed for an attempted coup.
Turkey on Tuesday launched the mass arrest of alleged supporters of an exiled cleric accused of masterminding an attempted coup against the Ankara government in 2016.

The huge operation saw 1,112 people ordered arrested, accused of links to US-based Fethullah Gulen, according to Reuters.

The sweep revolves around claims that some senior police officers were given answers to promotion examinations in 2010.

Although only 124 have been arrested so far, the operation stretched across extending across 76 provinces in Turkey.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu announced a "big operation", against alleged Gulenists. "Devils would not perpetrate deceptions like they have. We will finish them off."

Ankara accuses Gulen supporters of creating a "parallel state" with supporters of the cleric being installed into senior government, security and judiciary positions.

Over 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's clampdown on suspected Gulen supporters, while 15,000 in the military have been sacked.

Critics of Erdogan believe that the president is using the post-coup clampdown to arrest potential political opponents. 

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