October 24, 2016

Turkey Charges 99 Generals Over Failed Coup

Soldiers detained for suspected coup involvement are brought to court in Istanbul

Ninety-nine of Turkey’s roughly 360 military generals have been charged over their alleged roles in last Friday’s attempt to overthrow the government.

Another 14 generals are still in detention as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues his crackdown on those he blames for the failed coup.

Turkey has also cut access to WikiLeaks, banned academics from travelling abroad and suspended 900 officers from the Ankara police force.

WikiLeaks was banned hours after leaking thousands of emails from Mr Erdogan’s ruling party, many of which were sent in the run-up to the coup attempt.

:: Seven Things We Learned From Turkey’s Coup

The cache of nearly 300,000 AK Party emails was obtained before the plot to overthrow the government and dates from 2010 to 6 July this year.

WikiLeaks said it had brought forward publication “in response to the government’s post-coup purges,” which have seen around 50,000 public officials removed from their jobs.

Turkey’s Telecommunications Communications Board said on Wednesday that an “administrative measure” had been taken against the website – the term it commonly uses when blocking access to sites.

:: Who Is The Man Blamed For Turkey’s Coup?

The travel ban for academics was announced by Turkey’s High Board of Education and will apply until further notice, state media reported.

Academics who are already abroad were urged to return home urgently and university rectors have been asked to “urgently examine the situation of all academic and administrative personnel linked with FETO” (Fethullah Terrorist Organisation) and report back by 5 August.

The FETO is the term used by the government to describe supporters of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen – who has been blamed for the coup but denies involvement.

The latest restrictions come a day after the board ordered the resignation of 1,577 university deans and the education ministry revoked the licences of 21,000 teachers working in private institutions.

Mr Erdogan’s post-coup purge of state institutions started with the military, judiciary and police before it was extended to the education sector.

Officials have raised the death toll from the violence surrounding the coup attempt to 240 government supporters. At least 24 coup plotters were also killed.

The coup attempt has led to public anger and calls for the government to bring back the death penalty, while the state-run religious affairs body has said no religious rites would be performed for the coup plotters killed in the uprising.

Capital punishment was abolished in 2004 as part of Turkey’s bid to join the European Union, and EU officials have said its reinstatement would be the end of Ankara’s attempts to join.

Turkey’s National Security Council is holding an extraordinary meeting followed by a previously unscheduled cabinet meeting, after which Mr Erdogan said an “important decision” would be announced.

Meanwhile, Turkish jets have carried out cross-border strikes against Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq, killing 20 alleged militants, state media said.

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