Turkish forces arrest 238 soldiers for alleged Gulen links
BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:45 P.M.) – The Turkish authorities have arrested 238 people in an operation targeting suspects in the army for alleged links to the dissident preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accused of being behind a failed coup attempt in 2016.
According to Reuters, these arrests covered 60 provinces, and it is part of a campaign that has been going on for four years against the network of cleric Fethullah Gulen residing in the United States.
Gulen denies involvement in the July 2016 coup attempt, in which more than 250 people were killed.
The state-owned Anadolu Agency said that 160 people were arrested in the latest police raids ordered by prosecutors in Izmir.
It added that the suspects were also targeted in northern Cyprus, where the Turkish army is deployed.
The agency said that among the suspects, 218 military personnel, including 6 colonels, 3 lieutenant colonels, and 9 officers.
Since the coup attempt, about 80,000 people have been detained pending trial, and about 150,000 civil and military employees and others have been dismissed or suspended.
More than 20,000 people have been expelled from the Turkish army.