Turkey Issues Warrants to Ex-Agents for Links to Cleric

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -
Turkish soldiers stand guard outside the Silivri Prison and Courthouse complex during the trial of 17 writers, executives and lawyers of the secularist Cumhuriyet newspaper in Silivri near Istanbul, Turkey, Monday. (Reuters/Osman Orsal)

Turkey’s state-run news agency says authorities have issued detention warrants for 63 people, mostly ex-intelligence agency workers, for alleged ties to the U.S.-based Muslim cleric accused of masterminding last year’s failed coup attempt.

Anadolu Agency reported that warrants were issued Tuesday for 45 former employees of the National Intelligence Agency, MIT, and 18 others suspected of being operatives of the cleric, Fethullah Gulen. Anadolu said that nine of the suspects have been detained in the capital, Ankara.

Turkey has launched a large-scale crackdown against Gulen’s movement after the July 2016 coup attempt, dismissing more than 110,000 people from government jobs and arresting more than 50,000 people for alleged links to terror groups.

Gulen denies involvement in the coup attempt.