Turkey freezes assets of 337 members of PKK, Gülen movement

Turkey froze the assets of 377 people, including the high-ranked senior members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Gülen movement, a Turkish Islamist group that Turkey blames for a failed military coup in July 2016.

Preacher Fethullah Gülen, the leader of the Gülen movement who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, was among the 205 members of the group whose assets were blocked by the Treasury and Finance Ministry, Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Wednesday.

The PKK, which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for decades, is designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. According to Anadolu, Turkish forces carried out 67,985 military operations against the PKK in 2020.

Turkey sacked hundreds of thousands of public officials and army personnel allegedly linked to the Gülen Movement in a series of purges since the failed coup. Once in alliance, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Gülen’s group parted ways in late 2013, when prosecutors allegedly linked to the movement launched corruption charges against senior AKP figures. The prosecutors were later arrested.

According to the Treasury and Finance Ministry, members of Islamic State (ISIS) and the far-left DHKP-C militant group were also among those whose assets were blocked, Anadolu said.