New round of arrests starts in Turkey after Erdogan win
Turkish judiciary officials have ordered the detention of more individuals suspected of involvement in an abortive coup in 2016.
Those detained were suspected to be supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Turkish cleric accused of orchestrating the failed coup attempt to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July 2016.
Authorities ordered the detention of 132 people in nationwide operations over their alleged links to Gulen’s network, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Tuesday.
In separate operations, authorities ordered the detention of 30 people in Turkey’s coastguard and navy, and 102 others — including soldiers and security personnel — across 23 provinces, Anadolu added.
Authorities have regularly carried out such operations against alleged Gulen supporters since the coup attempt two years ago.
The latest operations came two days after snap presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey in which Erdogan won another five years in power, and his AK Party and its nationalist allies secured a majority in the new parliament.
Erdogan has also gained sweeping executive powers under a new constitution backed by a narrow majority of voters in a 2017 referendum that took effect after the Sunday elections.
Turkey has detained 160,000 people and dismissed nearly the same number of state employees since the abortive putsch, the United Nations (UN) said in March. Of that number, more than 50,000 have been formally charged and kept in jail during ongoing trials.
Turkey’s Western allies and human rights groups have criticized the scale of the crackdown, and Erdogan’s critics say he is using the coup as a pretext to quash dissent, a charge he denies.
Erdogan and his AK Party say the measures are necessary to combat threats to national security.
Gulen, a former Erdogan ally who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, denies involvement in the attempted coup, in which at least 240 people were killed.