Police detain 53 Istanbul bourse ex-employees citing Gulen claims

By bne IntelliNews May 12, 2017

Turkish prosecutors have ordered the detention of 102 former Borsa Istanbul stock exchange employees, with 53 arrested already, local media reports suggested on May 12.

The employees had already been dismissed from their jobs at the bourse in the wake of the July 15 failed coup attempt of last year. Alleged links to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, the mastermind behind the attempted putsch according to the government's allegations, were cited as the reason for the dismissals.

Through a separate executive order, many high-level officials, including deputy general managers, were as of May 12 also dismissed from their posts at state-owned enterprises, including pipeline operator Botas, the official gazette stated.

The government imposed a state of emergency in the wake of the botched putsch, which remains in place after being extended two days after the controversial April 16 referendum on introducing an executive presidency with sweeping powers.

Turkish media report that so far more than 145,000 civil servants, security personnel and academics, including 4,200 judges and prosecutors, have been dismissed and at least 49,000 people have been arrested over alleged links to the coup plotters.

Connections to the purported Gulenist conspiracy have also been put forward to justify the seizure of more than 800 Turkish firms, worth some $10bn.

The EU has criticised the widespread purges and arrests, but the government argues that these extraordinary measures are necessary because Gulen supporters pose a serious threat to the country’s national security.

The BIST-100 index was up 0.45% d/d to 95,540 as of 10:20 on May 12 while the lira had lost 0.50% against USD to trade at TRY3.5931.

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