x

Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Turkey orders 70 army officers detained over Gulen links

Police launched operations in 38 provinces across the country

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) greets his supporters during a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of the failed Coup attempt on July 15. EPA
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) greets his supporters during a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of the failed Coup attempt on July 15. EPA

Turkish prosecutors ordered the detention of 70 serving army officers on Thursday over alleged links to the US-based preacher accused of orchestrating an attempted coup in 2016, CNN Turk reported.

Police launched simultaneous operations in 38 provinces across the country in a probe led by state prosecutors in the central Turkish province of Konya, the broadcaster said.

The suspects were targeted based on statements by soldiers previously detained over ties to the cleric Fethullah Gulen and were believed to have been responsible for recruiting students for Mr Gulen's movement.

Earlier this month, the UN human rights office said that Turkey has detained 160,000 people and dismissed nearly the same number of civil servants since the failed coup in July 2016, which Ankara blames on Mr Gulen. He denies any involvement.

Among those detained, more than 50,000 have been formally charged and kept in jail during trial.

Turkey's Western allies have criticised the crackdown. Critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuse him of using the failed putsch as a pretext to quash dissent.

In response, Turkey says the measures are necessary to combat threats to national security.

RELATED ARTICLES
Recommended