Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered the arrest of 85 energy and education ministry staff as part of an investigation allegedly targeting a “network” of allies linked to a US-based cleric that Ankara accuses of plotting the 2016 coup attempt.
Since the attempted coup, approximately 50,000 people have been arrested and taken to court on suspicion of working in cahoots with or being supporters of cleric Fethullah Gulen. Suspects have ranged in professional positions from judges and lawyers to journalists and even civilians.
Few details have emerged on the latest wave of arrests which followed on the heels of a court on Monday that jailed the online editor of the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet on charges of spreading “terrorist propaganda.” A clear definition for which the court is yet to outline.
The editor, Oguz Guven, will likely languish behind bars with a number of his fellow Cumhuriyet journalists who are already facing serious jail time of up to 43 years in prison, allegedly for the same offense and being ardent supporters of the Gulen. Moreover, a total of upward of 150,000 people, predominantly civil servants and security personal as well as academics have been indefinitely suspended or sacked as part of the wider post-coup crackdowns.