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    Police officers escort admiral Atilla Demirhan, front, and a group of millitary personal detained in Mersin, Turkey, Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    Thousands Detained by Ankara After Failed Coup Based on 'Pre-Prepared List'

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    The Turkish government isn't sure that the people it has arrested were actually part of the military coup attempt on July 15, and says that some will go back to their jobs after the investigation is complete, Hasan Ozertem from USAK's Center for Security and Energy Studies told Radio Sputnik.

    Since Turkey's military coup attempt ended in failure on Friday, July 15, the Turkish government has carried out a purge of tens of thousands of workers, who it accused of having a connection to the plot to overthrow the government.

    ​The coup was put down on Saturday morning amid brutal fighting in the streets between government supporters and factions of the Turkish army which supported the coup attempt. On Monday Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said 232 people had been killed in the fighting, including 145 civilians.

    The following day, 2,700 judges were dismissed, followed by 9,000 state employees from the police force and government ministries.

    More than 15,000 state education employees have been fired, and the higher education council has demanded the resignation of 1,577 university deans.

    The Turkish government says it has evidence that US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen was involved in the coup attempt. 

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously accused Gulen supporters within Turkey of constituting a threatening "parallel state."

    "I'm sorry but this parallel terrorist organization will no longer be an effective pawn for any country," Binali Yildirim, Turkey's new Prime Minister, said after the coup.

    A Pro-Erdogan supporter holds an effigy of US based cleric Fetullah Gulen hanged by a noosed on during a rally at Taksim square in Istanbul on July 18, 2016
    © AFP 2019 / ARIS MESSINIS
    A Pro-Erdogan supporter holds an effigy of US based cleric Fetullah Gulen hanged by a noosed on during a rally at Taksim square in Istanbul on July 18, 2016
    "We will dig them up by their roots so that no clandestine terrorist organization will have the nerve to betray our blessed people again."

    On Wednesday, Erdogan announced a three-month state of emergency, allowing his government to restrict or suspend rights and freedoms and bypass parliament when drafting new laws. He declared that "all the viruses within the armed forces will be cleansed."

    Hasan Ozertem, Director of the International Strategic Research Organization's (USAK) Center for Security and Energy Studies, told Radio Sputnik that the Turkish government is taking advantage of the coup attempt to remove from power individuals who are not connected to the military faction which tried to carry out the coup.

    "Right now, the government is conducting a purge of state institutions; these people were certainly not part of the military coup attempt last weekend."

    "But, it seems that before this attempt took place, there was some list prepared by the government based on certain concerns, and right now the government is taking advantage of this military coup and instigating a purge."

    On Thursday Yasin Aktay, spokesman for Turkey’s ruling AK Party, reported that 10,410 people have been detained in connection with the coup attempt.

    Ozertem said it is important to note that some of the people who have been fired from work or detained by security services will be freed or returned to their jobs, since the Turkish government seems uncertain as to whether the people arrested are really members of the Gulen movement.

    "It is important to underline the fact that some ministers from the cabinet have said that if these people are found to be innocent at the end of the judiciary process, they will go back to their jobs," Ozertem said.

    "The government isn't clear whether these people are part of this group, and they are not saying that they attempted the coup, but they are under suspicion of being a part of the group."

    "So, until the moment that they can't find any links (to Gulen), these people will be taken to a site and they'll be interrogated."  

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    purge, arrests, military, coup attempt in Turkey, Turkey
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