Monday, July 17, 2017

100-plus Caught Up in Turkey Post-coup Dragnet
Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:27AM

A police helicopter flies over a member of security forces as people, mainly soldiers (not pictured), accused of trying to assassinate the president during last July's coup attempt, are escorted by security forces towards the courthouse in Mugla, western Turkey, on February 20, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

One year after undergoing a bloody coup attempt, Turkey continues with its arrest campaign against suspected accomplices to the failed putsch. In the most recent crackdown, authorities have ordered the detention of 127 more people in this connection.

State-run Anadolu news agency reported that 115 of the alleged suspects, including businessmen, midwives, and journalists, had so far been detained in operations in the northwestern province of Tekirdag, and that the remaining were being sought by police.

The suspects were believed to be users of ByLock, an encrypted messaging app, which the government says was used by the network of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen to stage the coup.

Gulen is a former-ally-turned- bĂȘte noire of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he blames for masterminding the doomed putsch. Gulen denies the accusation.

The government enforced a state of emergency right after the coup and has kept renewing it up until now.

The emergency state has featured a sweeping witch hunt, which has seen some 150,000 people being either sacked or suspended from their jobs in the civil service and private sector, and more than 50,000 detained.

Over Saturday and Sunday, Turkey marked one year since the coup amid much pomp and circumstance.

Erdogan started marking the event by attending a special session of the parliament in Ankara, speaking to a mass rally in Istanbul, and then flying back to the capital for a rally outside the legislature and a special event at the presidential palace, which featured the unveiling of a memorial in honor of those killed during the coup.

Addressing the demonstration, Erdogan warned that the country would "chop off the heads" of traitors in reference to his intentions to reintroduce the death penalty. Some demonstrators even brandished nooses in a symbol of their support for the punishment.

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