Twelve academics, businesspeople and journalists have been detained by the police as part of an investigation into an association that was headed by a jailed prominent businessman and activist, says Turkey’s state-run news agency.

Anadolu Agency said professors Betul Tanbay and Turgut Tarhanli of Istanbul’s Bosphorus and Bilgi universities were among those detained in simultaneous police operations in the city early on Friday.

Since an attempted coup in 2016, Turkey has arrested thousands of people for alleged links to terror groups, purged many more from state institutions and jailed dozens of journalists.

They are being questioned over their links to the Anatolia Culture Association founded by Osman Kavala, a philanthropist businessman who was arrested a year ago accused of crimes against the state. No indictment has been issued against him.

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