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Turkey targets academics, bank regulators

August 19, 2016

Among the scores of academics currently being sought by the authorities, at least 29 have been detained. More than 40,000 state employees have been detained and 80,000 others have been suspended.

People standing in the parking lot of a bus depot, as seen through a see-through Turkish flag.
Image: picture-alliance/Ap Photo/P. Karadjias

Turkish prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for 84 university academics and 29 banking regulators have been detained in the latest purge to rake Turkey since last month's coup attempt.

Most of the academic suspects were at Selcuk University, including the university's former rector professor Hakki Gokbel. The university is in the city of Konya, about 160 miles (260km) south of the capital, Ankara.

So far, 29 academics have been detained. Meanwhile, authorities on Friday also detained 29 inspectors from the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) for "irregular inspections."

Exodus from Turkey

The banking investigators are suspected of making examining the accounts of a government-related foundation and of business people, some with close ties to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A BDDK spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Purge alarms West

Turkey's Western allies have said they are alarmed by Ankara's far-reaching crackdown in the aftermath of the July 15 military action that sought to oust Erdogan from power.

More than 40,000 state employees had been detained, with 20,335 remanded into custody, according to Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. Another 5,000 civil servants have been dismissed and almost 80,000 others suspended, he added.

Erdogan has long accused cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, of running a "parallel network" inside government institutions and the military. Gulen has denied those allegations and has condemned the coup attempt.

Gulen's organization does have followers throughout society, and they helped Erdogan in the early years after his AK Party was elected in 2002.

Gulen and Erdogan eventually fell out after police and prosecutors, seen as sympathetic to the cleric, opened a corruption investigation into Erdogan's inner circle in 2013.

bik/sms (AFP, Reuters)