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Turkey issues detention warrants for 167 over suspected Gulen links - media

By Reuters | October 13th 2020 at 08:08:13 GMT +0300

Turkish authorities on Tuesday issued detention warrants for 167 people, most of them active duty soldiers, in a move against supporters of a Muslim preacher the government accuses of organising a failed coup in 2016, a state broadcaster reported.

The operation was the latest in a four-year-old crackdown targeting the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. He denies involvement in the July 2016 putsch, in which some 250 people were killed.

Authorities launched the operation from the coastal province of Izmir and sought suspects across a total of 26 provinces, broadcaster TRT Haber said. No further details were available.

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Since the abortive putsch, some 80,000 people have been held pending trial and about 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others sacked or suspended. More than 20,000 people had been expelled from the Turkish military.

Rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies have criticised the scale of the crackdown, saying the government was using it as a pretext to quash dissent.

The government has denied the accusation, saying the measures are necessary for national security.


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