Turkey detains over a 1000 people in new crackdown targeting Gulenists

8,500 police officers took part in the morning raids. (File photo)

1009 people with alleged links to Fethullah Gulen’s Hizmet (Service) Movement have been taken into custody in nationwide police operations across Turkey on Wednesday morning.

Arrest warrants were issued for more than a thousand people by the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday.

In a statement on Wednesday, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, said that concurrent operations had been conducted in 81 provinces and 1009 clerics, accused of having ties to the Gulen Movement, had been detained in 72 provinces.

Turkey accuses the US-based Fethullah Gulen and his supporters of masterminding last July’s coup attempt.

Fethullah Gulen has denied the charges while intelligence reports have suggested that some Gulenists may have been involved but that the putsch had been initiated through a collaboration of several groups.

More than 130,000 people have been purged from public service with at least 40,000 being imprisoned on charges of involvement in the coup attempt since last July.