The government of President Tayyip Erdogan has issued arrest warrants for 254 ministry staff members and local government officials in Istanbul on suspicion of their involvement in last year's coup attempt in Turkey, with a total of 67 suspects already detained.
Turkey's official news agency, Anadolu, reported that 112 current and former staff members of several municipalities in the capital city were ordered to be detained by prosecutors in Istanbul.
Meanwhile, 142 government staffers linked to the ministries of education and sports, the majority of whom had already been fired, were slated for detention by prosecutors in the city of Ankara. They're accused of being involved with Fethullah Gulen, the alleged mastermind of the 2016 military coup attempt.
Roughly 1,000 suspects were detained last week, all of whom have been accused by Turkish authorities of being associated with the so-called Gulen movement. However, Gulen has consistently denied all charges of orchestrating a revolt against the government.
In the aftermath of the failed takeover, Erdogan declared emergency rule, enabling the government to bypass parliament in enacting new laws and limit or suspend rights and freedoms when deemed necessary. Authorities said the crackdown was “necessary” to purge state institutions of those linked to Gulen, but critics contend that Erdogan is using the measure to quash dissent and drift toward authoritarianism.
Since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, authorities have dismissed or suspended over 150,000 teachers, policemen, judges and civil servants and detained some 50,000 people. A number of human rights organizations have denounced the crackdown on perceived collaborators with Gulen.