Turkey’s ongoing post-coup purge is now targeting a new group of people: Business executives.
A Turkish court issued 380 arrest warrants for businesspeople throughout the country, the state-run news agency Anadolu reported.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is continuing with his pledge to bring to justice anyone associated with Fethulla Gulen, a cleric exiled to the United States, whom he believes is behind the failed July coup.
Some of the wanted businessmen reportedly helped fund Gulen’s movement and almost a third of the businessmen are known to be abroad, according to Anadolu.
Police have also detained Erem Turgut Yucel, the chief legal officer at Dogan Holding, and Yahya Uzdiyen, the company’s former CEO, according to the Financial Times. Dogan Holding owns Hurriyet, one of the country’s main newspapers, CNN-Turk, and Istanbul’s “Trump Towers.”
Aydin Dogan, the founder of Dogan Holding, and Erdogan have been at odds for a long time with Hurriyet and CNN-Turk being among the country’s media outlets most critical of the current government.
Turkey has been the target of numerous terrorist attacks in the past year, the latest one being an attack on an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Eve, and an explosion in Izmir on January 5. It has been struggling economically too, with the lira falling to a record low in the first week of 2017.
Since the failed July coup that left more than 200 people dead and over 2,000 injured, Erdogan has promised to quell any branches of Gulen’s movement in Turkey.
The Turkish government has already frozen the assets of hundreds of business people. More than 30,000 people suspected to be associated with Gulen’s movement have also been arrested or fired. A lot of the arrests were made in the education sector, the police and judiciary.
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