Turkey Rounds Up Academics In Postcoup Crackdown

Police in Istanbul have detained 73 teaching staff members at the city’s Yildiz Technical University in connection with the ongoing crackdown following a failed coup attempt in July.

Prosecutors on November 18 announced that detention warrants for a total of 103 Yildiz instructors have been issued on suspicion of “membership in an armed terrorist group.”

Authorities accuse them of having connections with self-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accused of masterminding the attempted coup.

Gulen, who lives in the United States, denies any involvement.

Prosecutors said the accused academics were using a messaging app called ByLock, which authorities say Gulen’s followers began using in 2014.

On November 17, the government dismissed 203 judges for alleged connections with “the Gulenist terror group.”

More than 110,000 people have been fired or suspended in the postcoup crackdown, and more than 36,000 people have been jailed pending trial.

Some 240 people were killed during the failed coup attempt in July.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa