Date
22 October 2017
A policeman checks a soldier beaten by a mob after troops involved in the coup attempt surrendered on the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul on July 16. Photo: Reuters
A policeman checks a soldier beaten by a mob after troops involved in the coup attempt surrendered on the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul on July 16. Photo: Reuters

Turkey widens purge in post-coup crackdown

Turkey suspended thousands of police officers on Monday, widening a purge on suspected supporters of the failed military coup in the country late last week. 

Reuters quoted a senior Turkish security official as saying that 8,000 police officers, including in Ankara and Istanbul, were removed from their posts on suspicion of links to Friday’s abortive coup.

Among others, about 1,500 finance ministry officials were also said to have been suspended, as well as 30 governors and more than 50 high-ranking civil servants.

Annual leave was suspended for more than 3 million civil servants, while close to 3,000 judges and prosecutors have been suspended, according to the report.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said 7,543 people had so far been detained, including 6,038 soldiers.

Some of the detainees were shown in photographs stripped to their underpants and handcuffed on the floors of police buses and a sports hall.

A court remanded 26 generals and admirals in custody on Monday, Turkish media said.

Nearly 20,000 members of the police, civil service, judiciary and army have been detained or suspended since Friday night’s coup, in which more than 200 people were killed when a faction of the armed forces tried to seize power.

The broad crackdown and calls to reinstate the death penalty for plotters drew concern from Western allies who said Ankara must uphold the rule of law in the country.

Some voiced concern President Tayyip Erdogan was using the opportunity to consolidate his power and further a process of stifling dissent. 

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RC

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