Turkey orders 100 military personnels’ arrest in alleged links to US-based Turkish cleric

U.S. based cleric Fethullah Gulen at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 29, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller/File Photo

Turkey has on Friday, ordered the arrest of more than 100 military soldiers and former cadets suspected of having links to the network of the United States-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused of orchestrating the 2016 attempted coup.

According to state media reports and prosecutors, since the failed coup, police operations have been carried out targeting supporters of Gulen and have also recently gained momentum. However, Gulen denied any of his involvement in the attempt, which had led to deaths of 250 people.

According to Reuters reports, the Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office said on Friday it has ordered the arrest of around 50 suspects, having a connection to Gulen in the military, where six of them were officers and the rest were military academy students expelled after the coup.

The statement said the operation which was spread across 16 provinces was focused on the phone calls made.

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

The statement added: “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.”

More than 77,000 people have been yet jailed pending trails, whereas 150,000 military personnel, civil servants and others have been suspended or sacked from their positions and jobs.

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