Turkey arrests 43 Gulen supporters ahead of upcoming elections

Published May 22nd, 2015 - 05:59 GMT
A market in Gaziantep, Turkey displays embroidered images of US-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen (left) and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right).  (AFP/Ozan Kose)
A market in Gaziantep, Turkey displays embroidered images of US-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen (left) and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right). (AFP/Ozan Kose)

Turkish authorities on Friday arrested 43 people in the city of Konya in a new round of raids targeting suspected supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s arch rival, US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, AFP reported. 

The arrested included former education and police officials as well as Bahattin Adam, the former rector of Konya’s Mevlana University, reported the state Anatolia news agency.    

The arrests come a mere two weeks before legislative elections scheduled for June 7, and are aimed against supporters of Gulen, who are accused of trying to remove Erdogan from power. 

Gulen, a former imam who lives in self-imposed exile in the US, has built up influence in the police and judiciary, as well as in the educational sector.  Authorities accuse him of being behind corruption allegations against Erdogan that arose in December 2013. 

The suspects arrested on Friday face questioning to determine whether they will be released or sent to court. 

Authorities have carried out dozens of similar raids against alleged Gulen supporters since summer 2014.   


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