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Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Turkey's post-coup purge: almost 16,000 detained, 50,000 fired

AFP , Thursday 28 Jul 2016
Supporters of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan wave national flags as they gather at Taksim Square in central Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016.Photo:Reuters
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Turkey has launched a wide-ranging purge of the army and civilian state institutions following the failed coup aimed at unseating President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ankara blames the rebellion on his arch-foe, the US-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen, accusing him of running the "Fethullah Terror Organisation" (FETO). He strongly denies the charges.

Turkey says the crackdown is needed to eradicate every aspect of his influence from public life.

Critics led by the EU have raised alarm over the magnitude of the crackdown, saying it cannot be an excuse to go against those who criticise the government.


Here are the facts and figures about the coup and the ensuing legal measures against the alleged plotters and supporters:

According to the authorities, the coup resulted in the deaths of 179 civilians, 62 police and five soldiers -- a total of 246.

In addition, 24 plotters were killed, giving a death toll of 270 people.

According to Interior Minister Efkan Ala on Wednesday, a total of 15,846 people have been detained.

These include 10,012 soldiers, 2,901 police and 2,167 judges and prosecutors.

According to Ala, 8,113 of those detained have been placed under arrest. This means a judge has remanded in them in custody ahead of trial.

These include 5,266 soldiers, 1,684 judges and prosecutors, and 1,019 police.

Of those detained, around 3,000 have been already released, a Turkish official said, although no precise figures have been issued.

The authorities insist that everyone detained will be given a fair hearing and all those innocent set free.

According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, 51,322 people have been dismissed from their jobs in state institutions.

Most of these were in the state education sector, where 42,767 people have lost their jobs, evenly split between teachers and administrative staff.

In addition, hundreds of jobs have also been lost in every major Turkish ministry.

The government also demanded the resignation of almost 1,600 deans, or faculty heads, from private and state universities.

Some 21,000 people working in private education will have their licences revoked and be banned from teaching in the future.

Eighty-seven land army generals, 30 air force generals, and 32 admirals -- a total of 149 -- have been dishonourably discharged over their complicity, a government decree said.

In addition, 1,099 officers and 436 junior officers have received a dishonourable discharge, according to the decree.

At least 178 generals have been detained -- with 151 of them already remanded in custody -- around one half of the 358 generals serving in Turkey.

It is likely almost all those discharged have been detained.

According to state media, among the most senior generals detained are former air force chief General Akin Ozturk and former Second Army Commander General Adem Huduti.

Authorities have ordered the closure of three news agencies, 16 television stations, 23 radio stations, 45 newspapers, 15 magazines and 29 publishers under the state of emergency, according to the official gazette.

They include many provincial outlets but also national titles including the Cihan news agency and the opposition daily newspaper Taraf, according to Turkish media.

Authorities issued arrest warrants for 42 journalists earlier this week and on Wednesday issued another 47 for former staff of the once pro-Gulen Zaman newspaper.

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