Turkey orders 186 detained – including teachers – in Gulen network suspicions


ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 92 teachers and 94 others in three operations against people suspected of links to the network which Turkey says was behind a failed 2016 coup, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.

The teachers, who were targeted in an operation across the capital Ankara and 19 other provinces, had worked in schools previously closed for alleged links to the network of the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, Anadolu said.

In another operation launched in central Turkey’s Konya and spread across 42 other provinces, authorities issued warrants for 84 people suspected of similar ties.

Police detained eight members of Gulen’s network and were looking for two more in a third operation focused on southern Turkey’s Mersin and four other provinces, the agency said.

Ankara says Gulen and his network were behind the failed coup attempt of July 2016 during which 250 people were killed. Gulen has denied involvement.

More than 50,000 people have been jailed and over 150,000 sacked or suspended from the military, schools and the public institutions in a crackdown following the coup attempt.

Critics say Erdogan is using the failed coup as a pretext to quash dissent. Turkey says the strict measures are required given the security threats it faces.

(Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Daren Butler and Catherine Evans)

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