Turkish police detain ‘Gulenists’ after AKP poll win
03 November 2015,Nirapad News: Turkish police detained at least 35 people as part of a probe into alleged supporters of a US-based cleric who is accused of a plot against the Turkish president.
Local media reported, says Al Jazeera.
Police raided several addresses on Tuesday in the western coastal city of Izmir and arrested the men, including high-ranking officials and police officers, the private Dogan news agency reported.
The operation comes just two days after Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AK party) swept back to power by winning almost half of the vote in Sunday’s election.
A strengthened AK party government is expected to speed up efforts to crack down on loyalists of exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen.
A former ally of Erdogan turned arch-enemy who lives in the US, Gulen is charged with ‘running a terrorist group’ which launched a probe into the president’s inner circle in 2013. He is due to go on trial in absentia in January.
Erdogan accuses Gulen of trying to topple him by persuading allies in Turkey’s police force and judiciary to launch a vast probe into government corruption in December 2013, which led to the resignation of four ministers.
Turkish authorities responded by purging both the police force and judiciary of pro-Gulen elements and arresting news editors and businessmen.
The movement had supported the Islamic-rooted AK party when it came to power in 2002 but the relationship between the cleric and president degenerated as Erdogan became increasingly worried about Gulen’s bid for power.