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Turkish Police Raid Science Council, Detain Many in Post-Coup Purge | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, shakes hands with officers of the special police forces at their headquarters in Ankara, Turkey on Friday July 29, 2016. Kayhan Ozer, AP

Turkish police raided on Wednesday the offices of the national science research council, broadcaster NTV said, as authorities expand investigation into followers of the U.S.-based cleric suspected of engineering last month’s coup attempt.

NTV reported many people being detained in the raid on the offices of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (Tubitak) in the northwestern province of Kocaeli.

The raid comes a day after police raided the main military medical center in Ankara, arresting doctors and other medical staff.

Tubitak funds science research projects in universities and the private sector and employs more than 1,500 researchers, according to its website.

Speaking at an event at the directorate of religious affairs, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would not let its guard down after the coup.

“Anyone who still sympathizes with Gulen is responsible for their own fate now,” he said.

“How are we supposed to believe those who say they were deceived and now repent their association? We can’t.

“They say a statement is what we should take as the basis. Sorry, we will not let our guard down.”

More than 60,000 people in the military, judiciary, civil service and education have been detained, suspended or placed under investigation following the July 15 coup attempt, prompting fears that Erdogan is using the events to crack down on dissent.

Turkey’s government says the coup attempt was orchestrated by followers of Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999. Gulen denies the charge and has condemned the coup.

More than 230 people, not including coup plotters, died and thousands were wounded as mutinous soldiers commandeered fighter jets, helicopters and tanks in the failed attempt to topple the government.