Turkey orders arrest of 70 army officers | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 30, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 30, 2018

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Turkey orders arrest of 70 army officers

Turkish prosecutors ordered the detention of 70 serving army officers over alleged links to the US-based preacher accused of orchestrating an attempted coup in 2016, CNN Turk said yesterday.

Police launched simultaneous operations in 38 provinces across Turkey in a probe led by state prosecutors in the central Turkish province of Konya, the broadcaster said.

It said the suspects were targeted based on statements by soldiers previously detained over ties to the cleric Fethullah Gulen and were believed to have been responsible for recruiting students for Gulen's movement.

The UN human rights office said earlier this month Turkey has detained 160,000 people and dismissed nearly the same number of civil servants since the failed coup in July 2016, which Ankara blames on Gulen. He denies any involvement.

Among those detained, more than 50,000 have been formally charged and kept in jail during trial.

Meanwhile, President Tayyip Erdogan has filed a lawsuit against the leader of Turkey's main opposition party over "baseless" comments linking the president to the Muslim cleric Ankara blames for a failed 2016 coup, Erdogan's lawyer said yesterday.

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