G20 host Turkey says fight against terrorism should be at forefront

Twenty people detained as part of a government-backed operation targeting the faith-based Gandulen movement in the western province of Manisa were released on Saturday.
A total of 26 people, including lawyers, educators and others, were detained in Manisa on Nov. 10on terrorism charges in one of the latest police operations that critics say amount to a political witch hunt backed by thin evidence.
3 people were released after they were questioned at the police while the remaining 23 people were referred to a court, which released 20 of them on Saturday following a lengthy session that lasted through the night. Three detainees, on the other hand, were sent to jail pending trial.
Two other people sought by the police in connection with the operation handed themselves in to police on Friday. They were still being questioned on Saturday.
The operation has become controversial when images of two headscarved women being escorted to police cars in handcuffs made rounds in the social media. The government ordered an investigation into handcuffing, which legal experts agree was unnecessary and critics say was aimed at intimidating and publicly humiliating the detainees, after reactions mounted. The police chief of Manisa was temporarily suspended while the governor of the province, Erdogan Bektai, apologized for a statement in which he tried to explain why the police chief was suspended. Bektai ended up being accused of discriminating against women who do not wear headscarf as he mentioned that the headscarved women have a and”positive imageand” in the society.
The operation was carried out on the charges that suspects provided financial support to the and”parallel structure,and” a term invented by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to refer to the Hizmet movement.
Manisa deputies of the opposition Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP), andOzgandur andOzel and Tur Yildiz Biandcer, as well as the head of the Manisa Bar Association Ali Arslan, were at the courthouse to follow the court proceedings.
and”Justice has been served. But we went through very difficult days and we did not deserve it,and” Emine Hacioilu, a bank employee who was among the 20 people that were released on Saturday, said.
and”We are sorry that we had to leave our friends behind. Those who are responsible for this should feel ashamed,and” said Handuseyin andcambel, a shopkeeper and one of the released detainees. and”We left three people whom we believe are innocent there. We are saddened for them,and” said Menderes Hirandciner, a lawyer.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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