More than 100 courthouse staffers detained in Turkey coup investigation

Police teams on Monday apprehended 136 personnel in operations conducted at three Istanbul courthouses as part of an investigation into the July 15 abortive coup.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said the Istanbul chief public prosecutor's office had issued a detention order for 173 personnel working at Istanbul's Caglayan, Bakirkoy and Gaziosmanpasa courthouses. Of those, 136 were detained in Monday's raids.

The operations are part of the government's investigation into the movement led by U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen. Ankara alleges Gulen was responsible for the violent coup attempt that left over 270 people dead. Gulen denies any involvement.

Police entered the courthouses Monday morning to detain the suspects and conduct searches of their offices and computers, while other teams were searching their homes.

Four courthouse personnel were detained last week as part of the same investigation.

The government has launched a massive crackdown on alleged supporters of the Gulen movement, raising concerns among Western allies and human rights groups. More than 35,000 people have been detained for questioning while tens of thousands of others have been dismissed from government jobs, including in the judiciary, media, education, health care, military and local government.

Meanwhile one public prosecutor who had been dismissed following the coup was apprehended by security forces in southeast Turkey as he allegedly tried to illegally sneak into Syria.

Ekrem Beyaztas, a public prosecutor in the eastern province of Erzurum who was subject to a detention order, was caught Sunday night along the Syrian border in the southeastern province of Kilis, according to a statement released by the local governor's office and confirmed by a Turkish official.