ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish authorities issued arrest warrants for 110 people from a seized company over alleged links to the U.S.-based cleric who Ankara says orchestrated last year’s attempted coup, Dogan news agency and other media said on Friday.
It said the police operation to seize the suspects, who were managers, partners and employees of the publishing group Kaynak Holding and related companies, was focused on Istanbul but spread across 24 provinces.
Kaynak Holding was seized by the state in 2015 over links to the movement of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999. He has denied involvement in the July 2016 abortive putsch.
Hundreds of firms like Kaynak, many of them smaller provincial businesses, were seized by authorities in a post-coup crackdown and are now run by government-appointed administrators.
Under the crackdown, more than 50,000 people have been jailed pending trial over alleged links to Gulen, while 150,000 people have been sacked or suspended from jobs in the military, public and private sectors.
In a separate operation centered in Ankara, 38 former employees from schools owned by the Gulen network were arrested on Friday, according to Turkish media. The schools were closed by a decree after the failed coup.
The government dismisses rights groups’ concerns about the crackdown, saying only such a purge could neutralize the threat represented by Gulen’s network, which it says infiltrated institutions such as the judiciary, army and schools.
Writing by Daren Butler and Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Nick Macfie and David Dolan