At least 426 judges and prosecutors have been detained in operations across Turkey as authorities continue to issue arrest warrants for suspects behind an attempted military coup carried out by rogue soldiers allegedly linked to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Authorities have banned the judges and prosecutors from leaving the country, and also ordered for their residences to be searched.
The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued arrest warrants for 132 judges and public prosecutors who they determined were members of FETO, a Fetullah Gulen-linked organisation which was recently placed on Turkey's terror list.
As part of the investigation into the attempted coup opened by the Bakirkoy Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, arrest warrants were also issued for 140 judges and prosecutors who hold positions in the Istanbul Regional Administrative Court, Bakirkoy Courthouse and Kucukmece Courthouse.
In the capital, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecution sent a message to all Criminal Chief Public Prosecutors that all 2,745 judges and prosecutors who hold positions in administrative and legal courts and have been "established to be members of the same organisation" be detained.
A married couple, both members of the judiciary system, were detained at Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport in western Turkey. It was found that prosecutor Muammer Taha Ekim, who holds a position at the Adana Courthouse, and his wife Gamze Ekim, who is a judge, were going to flee to Germany.
At least 15 of 53 judges and prosecutors were also detained in Van, a city in eastern Turkey.
In Kocaeli, a city close to Istanbul, 34 judges and public prosecutors who allegedly have links to Gulen were taken into custody. Thirty-seven judges and 18 prosecutors who hold positions at the courthouse in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa were detained.
Meanwhile, the General Assembly of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors ordered revoking the membership of five members who are subject to outstanding arrest warrants.
The board also suspended 541 judges from their duties in administrative courts, and 2,204 judges from their duties in judicial courts. In total 2,745 judges have been suspended from their duties.