Turkish authorities have arrested more than 1,000 people today. They claim they had secretly infiltrated police forces across the country on behalf of a U.S. based cleric blamed by the government for a failed coup attempt last July.

The nationwide sweep was one of the largest operations in months against suspected supporters of the cleric, Fethullah Gulen, a former ally of President Tayyip Erdogan  who is now accused by the government of trying to topple him by force.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the overnight crackdown targeted a Gulen network “that infiltrated our police force, called ‘secret imams.’

“One thousand and nine secret imams have been detained so far in 72 provinces, and the operation is ongoing,” he told reporters in Ankara.

In the aftermath of the failed July coup, authorities arrested 40,000 people and sacked/suspended 120,000 from a wide range of professions.

Categories: Foreign News

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