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Turkey Admits to Unfair Post-Coup Arrests | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Pro-Erdogan supporters wave Turkish flags at Kizilay square in Ankara on July 18, 2016 during a demonstration in support to the Turkish government following a failed coup attempt. (AFP / ILYAS AKENGIN)

Ankara – Turkish government admitted for the first time to unfair treatment in the post-coup arrests.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said commenting on the tens of thousands who have been discharged from their positions: “There must definitely be some among them who were subjected to unfair procedures.”

A nationwide arrest and purge campaign led to the detention of nearly 19,000, while over 60 thousand people have been dismissed from their jobs. The government claimed they belonged to Fethullan Gulen.

Yildrim added: ““We will make a distinction between those who are guilty and those who are not.”

Meanwhile, Antalya governor Munir Karaolgu said that 20 academics of Akdniz University have been mistakenly arrested. Karaoglu apologized to them asking they forgive the authorities.

He added that these arrests were done by mistake and not on purpose.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said: “If there are any mistakes, we will correct them”, adding that those who belong to Gulen’s organization should be afraid.

The purge operation led to the arrest of over 18 thousand over the past two weeks as judicial persecution began for over 10 thousand of them. The government also fired over 50 thousand from their positions.

Speaking after a Cabinet meeting in Ankara, Kurtulmus said reforms to the military were underway to create a more specialized military “whose only aim will be to protect the country.”

He explained that any changes will have nothing to do with the personnel, adding that: “We should establish such an intelligence system that will prioritize the provision of intelligence for the security of the state and not against the people.”

Kurtulmus also criticized German “double standards” in banning President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from addressing a rally in Cologne, Germany on Sunday to celebrate the defeat of the coup.

Deputy PM also said that the government will carry on with the reforms and will enhance the political and social aspects. He added that the government is also keen on attracting more investors to increase productivity.