Turkish authorities detained over 500,000 people since an abortive 2016 putsch over their alleged links to Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Sunday.
Soylu, using a government acronym for Gulen’s network IS said that a total of 511,000 FETO members were detained since July 15, 2016.
“The number of those under arrest is 30,821,’’ Soylu added.
Turkey blames Gulen, who’s based in the U.S. and his movement for the failed coup by a faction in the military.
The government considers Gulen’s movement a terrorist organisation and has arrested thousands of people with alleged connections to the movement and Gulen himself.
The self-exiled cleric, an ally-turned-foe of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, denied the allegations.
The authorities continue to target those with suspected links to Gulen, in the military and elsewhere, almost on a daily basis. (dpa/NAN)