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Turkey Orders Detention of 100 Soldiers Over Suspected Gulen Ties

Turkey Orders Detention of 100 Soldiers Over Suspected Gulen Ties

Friday, 11 January, 2019 - 08:15
FILE PHOTO: US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen at his home in Pennsylvania, U.S., July 10, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller/File Photo
Asharq Al-Awsat
Turkey ordered the arrest of more than 100 soldiers and former military students over suspected ties to the network of cleric Fethullah Gulen, prosecutors and state media said on Friday.

Gulen has been living in a gated compound in eastern Pennsylvania after leaving Turkey in 1999. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has held Gulen responsible for the deadly attempted coup against him in 2016.

Gulen denies involvement in the coup attempt which left 250 people dead.

The Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office said it ordered the arrest of 50 suspects - six of them officers and the rest military academy students expelled after the putsch - in an investigation into people linked to Gulen in the military, Reuters reported.

This operation, spread across 16 provinces, was focused on calls made over fixed phone lines, the statement said.

In the southern Adana province, prosecutors ordered another 52 soldiers arrested, 42 of them serving, in an operation spread across 20 provinces, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.

It said colonels, majors, lieutenants and other serving officers were facing arrest over pay phone calls they made to other alleged Gulen-linked people. Many suspects have already been detained, it added.

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