Turkish prosecutors have ordered the arrest of 532 people because they are suspected of ties with Islamic spiritual Fethullah Gülen. This is seen by President Erdogans government as the mastermind behind the failed coup détat in 2016, and Gülen himself contradicts this. Among the suspects are 459 soldiers, says the Turkish state agency Anadolu.
Over half of the suspects are wanted by justice in the Izmir area, the other part by the prosecutor in Istanbul. Among the military against whom an arrest warrant has been issued are colonels, majors and captains, the states office says. This speaks of an action against the terrorist organisation Fethulla. In 62 of the 81 provinces in Turkey, research has been carried out.
After the failed coup in the summer of 2016, more than 80,000 people were arrested, and some 150,000 officials were dismissed or suspended. Over 20,000 soldiers have been resigned. Hundreds of people have been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Among others, the European Union, human rights organisations, opponents and critics of Erdogan are very critical of the approach of alleged Gülen supporters in Turkey, and believe that the President is using the failed coup as an excuse to eliminate political opponents. The Turkish Government argues that the arrests are necessary for security in the country.