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Turkey Detains Dozens of ex-Bourse Staff over Coup Links | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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AFP file photo of elite Turkish police

Turkish police on Friday detained 62 people in an operation against the Istanbul stock exchange over alleged links to Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of orchestrating the failed July 15 coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, state media said.

State-run Anadolu Agency said the suspects were detained in simultaneous police raids in Istanbul and five other cities. Detention warrants were issued for 40 other people, the agency reported.

The Haberturk daily said on its website that those held are former employees of the Istanbul stock exchange and are suspected of using an encrypted messaging application called Bylock which Turkey claims was especially created for supporters of US-based preacher Gulen.

They are also accused of performing transactions on behalf of Bank Asya, a bank once closely affiliated with Gulen.

Anadolu said the suspects were removed from positions at Borsa Istanbul stock exchange following the attempt.

Some 47,000 people have been arrested under the state of emergency imposed after the coup, while tens of thousands more have lost their jobs.

Late last month, Turkey dismissed almost 4,000 public officials under the state of emergency while over 9,100 police were suspended on April 26.

The latest move underlines that there is to be no let-up in the anti-Gulen purge after Erdogan won the April 16 referendum on expanding his powers.

Turkey’s Western allies, led by the European Union, have expressed concern over the magnitude of the post-coup purge which has affected every walk of life in Turkey.

Ankara however says that the action is necessary to rid Turkey of what Erdogan calls the “virus” created by Gulen’s infiltration of key Turkish institutions.

Gulen denies involvement in the failed coup.