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15 Turkey University Staff Detained in Latest Post-Coup Raids | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkish special forces take position on April 1, 2015 near the police headquarters in Istanbul (AFP Photo/Ozan Kose)

Turkish authorities on Saturday detained 15 staff from one of the country’s oldest universities on suspicion of links to U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen. The raids were the latest against suspects allegedly linked to the failed July 15 coup.

Those detained were rounded up following arrest warrants for 23 staff at the Ege University based in the Aegean city of Izmir, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

They are suspected of links to Gulen who Turkey says orchestrated the coup from his Pennsylvania compound with the aim of ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Gulen denies the charges.

Some are also accused of using a secret messaging system called Bylock which Turkey says was devised by the coup plotters to share secret messages.

Eight suspects remain at large. Some of those detained include professors, the Dogan news agency said. Ege University is the fourth largest in Turkey.

Some 32,000 people have been arrested in the wake of the coup under a state of emergency.

Those arrested include top former generals accused of organizing the coup but also people from every sector of life ranging from pastry magnates to journalists to former footballers.

Erdogan said this week that the state of emergency imposed after the coup should be extended for another three months when it expires in October.

The state-run news agency reported Friday that Turkish authorities have ordered 12 more news organizations closed down for alleged threats to national security.

But an official at the Radio and Television Supreme Council, the state watchdog, confirmed 20 TV and radio stations were being closed.

Dozens of news outlets associated with Gulen’s movement have also been closed down.

Government officials have insisted that moves against the news outlets or journalists are not for their journalistic activities but for links to terror groups.

The state of emergency allows the government to rule through decrees with little parliamentary or judiciary oversight.