Fear Grows in Turkey as Crackdown on Gulen Followers Continues

Relatives and friends of prisoners wait outside a high security prison complex in Silivri, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Istanbul, Aug. 18, 2016.
Relatives and friends of prisoners wait outside a high security prison complex in Silivri, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Istanbul, Aug. 18, 2016.


Date posted: September 22, 2016

DORIAN JONES

The Turkish authorities are continuing their crackdown on followers of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is being blamed for a failed military coup attempt. With tens of thousands of people arrested, opposition parties are starting to voice concern that the crackdown is turning into a witch hunt.

According to the latest official figures, more than 100,000 people have been removed from their state jobs and 60,000 detained or arrested since July’s abortive coup. The firings and arrests are primarily aimed at followers of Gulen.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is promising no let up in the crackdown. ”No country or region will be safe for members of the Gulen movement, we will hunt them all down,” he told reporters Monday.

Experts say Gulen has hundreds of thousands of supporters in Turkey, who have built a wide network of businesses and private schools and supporters across the country. The government has said it is determined to break up this network, which it accuses of not only supporting the coup attempt, but running a parallel state that favors its supporters and crushes opponents.

Gulen, who lives in the United State, denies all the allegations.

WATCH: Gulen denies Erdogan’s claims of coup involvement

Source: VOA , September 21, 2016


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