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Turkey sanctions hundreds of individuals with links to Gulen movement

The ruling listed 400 people and a US-based foundation for having suspected links to outlawed cleric Fethullah Gulen
A woman passes in front of Istanbul’s courthouse as members of the Taksim Solidarity Platform group gather outside on 21 May 2021 (AFP)

Turkey has frozen the assets of hundreds of individuals with alleged links to the outlawed Gulen movement and terrorist groups, a ruling said on Friday. 

The ruling, published in Turkey's official gazette, said the individuals had been sanctioned on the grounds of funding terrorism.

The US-based Niagara foundation and at least 400 people's assets were frozen for having suspected links to outlawed cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of staging a coup in 2016. 

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Other individuals listed in the ruling include 200 people accused of links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Islamic State militant group.

'Unlawful' arrests

Earlier this year, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Turkey had acted unlawfully by arresting over 400 judges and prosecutors for having links to Gulen. 

The ruling was the latest by the Strasbourg-based ECHR against Turkey, a member of the Council of Europe of which the court has been a part since 1950.

It said the detentions had violated the European Convention on Human Rights, which the court enforces "on account of the unlawfulness of the initial pre-trial detention of the applicants".

The court has previously, in separate rulings, ordered Turkey to free jailed Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas and civil society leader Osman Kavala who were arrested in 2016 and 2017, respectively.