Turkey arrests 60 businessmen for alleged Gulen ties

Turkey arrests 60 businessmen for alleged Gulen ties

ISTANBUL — A Turkish court on Wednesday ordered 60 businessmen formally arrested pending trial over their suspected ties to the movement allegedly responsible for the failed coup in July, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The agency said 110 businessmen were brought before an Istanbul court to be formally arrested on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization.” Fifty were given conditional release, barring them leaving the country and requiring them to regularly report in to authorities, though the prosecutor will appeal.

The suspects are accused of belonging to the movement of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, which Turkey accuses of orchestrating the coup attempt. Gulen denies any involvement.

The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s office had issued detention warrants for 380 businessmen as part of its investigation into the financing of the Gulen movement. Of the 380 total, 164 people were detained by authorities in operations across 35 provinces, while 110 were determined to be abroad and authorities are still searching for 106 others.

Of the 164 people detained, 54 people were released by the prosecutor while 110 people were the ones sent to the Istanbul court to be formally put under arrest.

Those placed under arrest Wednesday include Bekir Boydak and Mahmut Sami Boydak, brother and son of Boydak Holding Chairman Mustafa Boydak. The Boydak Holding company is alleged to have ties to the Gulen movement, with several family members detained even before the failed coup.

Meanwhile Anadolu said an Istanbul court on Wednesday arrested 84 military personnel who used an encryption program allegedly favoured by the Gulen movement. This brings the total number of military personnel arrested as part of the investigation into the encryption program up to 315 people according to Anadolu.

Turkey declared a state of emergency after the coup attempt and engaged in an unprecedented crackdown on Gulen’s movement, arresting 41,000 people and purging more than 100,000 from government jobs.

The Associated Press

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