Turkey Detains 1,009 ‘Secret Imams’ in Mass Police Purge

Over 9,000 Police Suspended Over Accused Gulen Ties

Turkey’s massive purge after last year’s failed military coup had quieted down a bit in recent months, but seems to be picking up again today, with a major move by the government against members of the national police force who are accused of having ties to exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen.

A new statement out of Ankara reported 1,009 police have been detained over 72 provinces in the ongoing operation, with all those detained identified as “secret imams” within the Gulenist movement. Over 9,100 police were suspended over ties as well.

This adds to some 40,000 people arrested nationwide over Gulenist ties, and around 120,000 people who have been fired from various jobs, as the government tries to purge potentially disloyal people from key positions. It is unclear what led to this new push.

It may be related to this month’s referendum, which is designed to give President Erdogan even more unchecked power, a highly controversial vote which ended in a contested win and charges of fraud from the opposition. This may have fueled concern of another attempt to depose Erdogan, sparking another round-up of suspects.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.