Galen Link: Turkey wants 149 people arrested on suspicion of being state media

The restraining orders are mainly aimed at members of the security forces on the religious leader's ties, who have been convicted for the coup bid.

Officials in Turkey have ordered the arrest of 149 people, mainly from the security forces, because of suspicious links to the failed coup in 2016, state media said.

The prosecutor's office in the western province of Balikesir ordered the arrest of 74 people, first let out of the security forces, the state-owned Anadolu Agency said Monday. Six of them are former police chiefs.

Meanwhile, in the southeastern Gaziantep and western Bursa provinces, the prosecution has ordered the arrest of 33 people, respectively, of 24 security force personnel on active duty and 42 on active duty, including six soldiers.

Authorities have continued to take action against followers of the United States Muslim leader and businessman Fethullah Gulen, accusing Ankara of a failed coup in July 2016.

Golen denies involvement. A former aide to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he has been living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999.

Erdogan accused the government of infiltrating the police, judiciary, military, and other state institutions and pursuing its own agenda to establish a "parallel state."

Since the coup attempt, thousands have been suspended and about 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others have been suspended from prison or their jobs.

Turkey has denounced its Western allies and rights groups over the breakdown, purification and erosion of judicial independence following the failed coup.

Critics have accused the government of using it as an incident to protest the country's silence.

The government says it is in compliance with the purse and arrest law rules and aims to remove Galen's supporters from state agencies and other areas of society.

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