Turkey to detain 82 military officers over alleged Gulen links
Detentions part of the latest operation against suspected backers of US-based preacher accused of a 2016 failed coup bid.
Operations targeting Gulen's suspected network have continued in Turkey under a four-year-old crackdown [File: Reuters]
1 Dec 2020
Turkey has ordered the detention of 82 military personnel in an operation targeting suspected supporters of a Muslim preacher who Ankara accuses of masterminding a coup attempt in 2016, according to state-owned Anadolu news agency.
Operations targeting the network of US-based religious leader and businessman Fethullah Gulen have continued under a four-year-long crackdown since the attempt to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July 2016.
Gulen denies involvement in the attempt, in which some 250 people were killed, excluding the putschists. A former ally of Erdogan, he has lived in self-imposed exile in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999.
Tuesday’s operation was spread over 39 provinces and 63 people have already been arrested, Anadolu said. Seventy of the suspects were on active duty.
The detentions were ordered by the chief prosecutor in the western coastal province of Izmir, Anadolu said, adding that it also took steps to sack 848 military personnel, including high-ranking officers, over links to the network.
Since the coup attempt, tens of thousands of people have been arrested pending trial while thousands of civil servants, military personnel and others have been sacked or suspended.