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Over half a million people detained since failed 2016 coup- Turkey

Turkish authorities detained over 500,000 people since an abortive 2016 putsch over their alleged links to Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Sunday.

Soylu, using a government acronym for Gulen’s network IS said that a total of 511,000 FETO members were detained since July 15, 2016.

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“The number of those under arrest is 30,821,’’ Soylu added.

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Turkey blames Gulen, who’s based in the U.S. and his movement for the failed coup by a faction in the military.

The government considers Gulen’s movement a terrorist organisation and has arrested thousands of people with alleged connections to the movement and Gulen himself.

The self-exiled cleric, an ally-turned-foe of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, denied the allegations.

The authorities continue to target those with suspected links to Gulen, in the military and elsewhere, almost on a daily basis. (dpa/NAN)

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