Turkey detains 1,682 for questioning over links to failed coup, militants

Turkish riot police detain protesters on November 5, 2016
during a demonstration in Istanbul. (Photo by AFP)

Hundreds of people have been detained for questioning by Turkish authorities in the course of last week over suspected links to opposition leader Fethullah Gulen as well as militant groups.

Turkey’s Interior Ministry said 1,682 people had been detained for questioning last week, 516 of whom were remanded in custody.

Most of them are suspected of having links with US-based Gulen, who is accused of being behind a failed coup attempt in July. The 75-year-old has condemned the coup and denied any involvement in the violence.

Ankara has been engaged in a crackdown on people it accuses of having connections to the cleric.

The post-coup crackdown has seen some 36,000 people jailed pending trial and more than 100,000 sacked or suspended in the civil service, army, judiciary and other institutions.

People suspected of having links to Daesh were also among those nabbed last week.

Ankara has been engaged in a large-scale campaign against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in its southern border region over the past few months.

The Turkish military has also been pounding the group’s positions in northern Iraq as well in breach of the Arab country’s sovereignty.

A shaky ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK that had stood since 2013 was declared null and void by the militants following the Turkish strikes against the group.



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