5 businessmen detained as part of gov’t backed operation in UIak

Five businessmen were detained on Tuesday during police raids on a number of houses and offices in the western province of Uiak that came as part of a government-orchestrated operation targeting the faith-based Gandulen movement.
During the operation, which was authorized by the Uiak Chief Public Prosecutorand’s Office, police officers from the Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Bureau of the Uiak Police Department raided four offices and six houses at around 6 a.m., the Cihan news agency reported on Tuesday.
Five businessmen identified by the initials A.D., i.andO., R.K., A.A. and A.andO. were detained on charges of being linked to the and”parallel state,and” a term invented by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to refer to followers of the Gandulen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement, which is inspired by the teachings of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gandulen.
On Oct. 13, 24 businessmen from the same company were detained during simultaneous police raids. Prosecutor Ercan Devrim, who conducted the investigation, referred those detained to a court without even hearing their testimonies. The 9th Penal Court of Peace decided to release 18 of the detained businessmen but arrested six of them on charges of and”membership in a terrorist organization and providing it with moneyand” on Oct. 18 and sent them to Metris Prison.
There have been many similar police operations against individuals, businesses and civil society organizations inspired by Gandulen. These operations are widely believed to be an act of retribution by Erdoganand’s administration for a major investigation into alleged graft that implicated Erdogan and other top Justice and Development Party (AK Party) figures that was made public on Dec. 17, 2013. Then-Prime Minister Erdogan accused the Gandulen movement of instigating the operation in order to overthrow his government.
In May 2014 Erdogan publicly vowed, and”We will not even give water to [the movementand’s sympathizers].and” He has also said he would carry out a and”witch huntand” against anyone with links to the movement. Erdogan has also ordered officials in AK Party-run municipalities to seize land and buildings belonging to people inspired by Gandulen by any means necessary. The movement strongly rejects the allegations brought against it.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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