In its clampdown on the Gülen Movement, the Turkish National Police raided offices of nongovernmental organizations linked to the group in western Turkey. They are accused of supplying funds for the activities of the movement that was allegedly involved in a purported attempt to overthrow the government
Turkish police have launched new operations against the "parallel structure," a name commonly given by the government to the Gülen Movement, which is accused of seeking to overthrow the government.
In the western city of Manisa, organized crime units from the Turkish National Police carried out simultaneous raids on the offices of six associations linked to the movement under the suspicion that they were financing the group. A local news agency reported that the basis for operations was charges of "carrying out activities in an attempt to disturb constitutional order," or coup plans, in plain terms.
Police squads searched the offices of Kimse Yok Mu, a Gülen Movement-linked charity, several education associations as well as a sports association, confiscating hard drives and documents from the offices. Riot police were deployed outside the buildings to prevent anyone from entering during the operations.
The operations follow last week's raids of the offices of five associations, including an influential business association linked to the Gülen Movement in Manisa. No detentions were reported in the raids. Speaking after last week's raid, Manisa police Chief Tayfur Erdal Ceren said that the "parallel structure" was designated as a terrorist organization and donors to charities linked to the Gülen Movement were aiding a terrorist organization. He pledged to uncover all connections of a "parallel structure" in his city.
Last month, the police searched the offices of a businesspeople's association in Çanakkale, another western province. The association was reportedly affiliated with the Gülen Movement.
The movement runs a global network of schools and associations on almost all continents and relies on funding from supporters for its activities.
It is accused of gaining financial power by extorting money from businesspeople through blackmail under the guise of "himmet," the technical name used for the fundraising meetings to collect donations for educational institutions operated by the movement. Moreover, media reports claim infiltrators in state agencies helped the Gülen Movement illegally acquire public funds and property.
The government launched a legal battle against the movement in 2013. It followed operations carried out by prosecutors and law enforcement officials linked to the group under the cover of anti-graft probes with the alleged goal of overthrowing the government through trumped-up charges backed with doctored audio recordings illegally tapped from high-ranking officials' conversations.
Once wielding significant clout in almost all institutions from the judiciary to law enforcement through infiltrators loyal to them, the Gülen Movement is now subject to a massive purge by the government in efforts to weed out the movement's followers from government and nongovernmental institutions.
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