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PoliticsMiddle East

Turkey seeks arrest of hundreds more coup suspects

April 26, 2021

Turkish prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for 532 people alleged to have links to a suspected coup mastermind. Critics say such crackdowns aim to quell any political dissent.

Turkish police standing guard at a penal court near Ankara
Turkey has been rounding up suspected allies of alleged coup mastermind Fethullah Gulen for yearsImage: Stringer/AFP

Turkey has ordered the arrest of 532 suspects who are alleged to have links with Fethullah Gulen, the US-based cleric Ankara blames for an attempted coup in 2016, the state-owned Anadolu news agency reported on Monday.

The investigation covering 62 provinces is part of a long-running crackdown that has seen tens of thousands of people brought to trial or sacked or suspended from their jobs since the coup attempt.

Alleged terrorist organization

Anadolu said 459 of the suspects were military personnel on active duty.

Turkey has classed Gulen's FETO movement as a terrorist organization. It claims that he was not only behind the coup but has tried for decades to infiltrate state institutions, including the army.

Gulen, a former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, denies any involvement in any such activities, but authorities have continued to target anyone with suspected links to the cleric.

Some 80,000 people were held pending trial, while some 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others lost their jobs permanently or temporarily in the aftermath of the coup attempt, in which more than 250 died. 

tj/nm (dpa, Reuters)