Turkish police detained 44 people Tuesday in raids against supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's rival, U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, according to reports. The news comes two days after Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) secured a landslide victory following five months of political standoff.
Turkey's state-run news agency reported that raids were carried out in 18 provinces, according to the Associated Press (AP). The detainees include regional administrators and former police chiefs suspected of acting "beyond their legal authority,” AP reported, citing the Anadolu Agency.
The Dogan news agency, another local newspaper, reportedly said that Tuesday's raids were part of an operation against the "parallel structure," a term used to refer to those in support of Gulen, said to be Erdogan's main political foe.
The Turkish government has since 2013 cracked down on supporters of Gulen, who leads a popular religious movement that includes successful businesses and a chain of schools worldwide, after police and prosecutors launched corruption probes into people close to Erdogan.