Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Turkey’s Crackdown on Army Continues, Journalists Are Next | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55355153

The father of a Turkish special forces policeman officer, center, is helped by two special forces policemen during his son’s funeral procession, in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, July 20, 2016. AP

Ankara-Turkey’s purging of the national army after the mid-July abortive coup attempt continues, making its way into diverse fields, its latest being journalism/. Turkish security forces on Monday morning made 40 arrests at Istanbul military academies. Suspects will be answering to investigations on the coup.

Security sources said that counterterrorism teams and units assigned to fighting organized crime have raided headquarters for the second time, making 40 arrests against officers. Many documents, information relative to the coup were retrieved during the searches of the suspects’ homes.

On that note, Turkey also ordered the detention of 42 journalists on Monday, broadcaster NTV reported, under a crackdown following a failed coup that has targeted more than 60,000 people.

Tens of thousands of people marched the streets in demonstrations against the coup attempt, which killed at least 246 and wounded over 2,100 people.

The country accuses U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen and his Gulenist Terror Organization or Parallel State Structure (FETO/PDY) of being behind the failed coup and has called for his extradition to Turkey to face trial.

The arrests or suspensions of soldiers, police, judges and civil servants was in response to the July 15-16 coup.

The head of Turkey’s Gendarmerie gave a dramatic testimony on Monday of his abduction by a trusted aide, at the night of the abortive coup, even mentioning a brush with death when speaking to Ankara prosecutors.

Gen. Galip Mendi was kept at the air base at the night of the coup, blindfolded and handcuffed.

After being released, Mendi went to brief Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, who was in the office of Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

Mendi said he would sue the perpetrators for the harm they caused.

Turkey went through a deadly coup attempt on July 15, when rogue elements of the military tried to overthrow the country’s democratically elected government.

Senior officers who refused to participate in the attempt were taken hostage, including Chief of the General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, who was later rescued from pro-coup soldiers.

Turkish President Erdogan has declared a state of emergency, which allows him to sign new laws without prior parliamentary approval and limit rights as he deems necessary. The government has said these steps are needed to root out supporters of the coup and won’t infringe on the rights of ordinary Turks.