The “Coup Attempt” That Never Ends – Turkey Orders Arrest of More than 200 Soldiers

  • According to government figures from March, around 500,000 people have been arrested for alleged Gulen connections since the coup attempt.
  • After coup attempt Turkey sentenced former top military personnel to life imprisonment.
  • Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen has been living in US exile since 1999.

The coup attempt in Turkey is almost three years back and the authorities are still looking for alleged co-conspirators. Dozens of arrests were ordered again in several cities. Now the judiciary has again requested the arrest of dozens of military personnel – allegedly linked to the banned Gulen movement.

The Istanbul Procuratorate said it issued an arrest warrant for 176 active members of the military on suspicion of links to the banned movement of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen. Ankara blames the Gulen movement for the attempted coup.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (born 26 February 1954) is a Turkish politician serving as the 12th and current President of Turkey since 2014. He founded the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2001, leading it to general election victories in 2002, 2007 and 2011 before standing down upon his election as President in 2014.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Izmir targeted 35 suspects for the search, including 20 soldiers in active service, Anadolu State News Agency reported.

In Kocaeli, a northwestern province, 17 suspects were sought including nine former soldiers. In Ankara, the arrest of 32 soldiers was requested, including a colonel and various other officers, as the local prosecutor announced. The reason given in these cases was always alleged links to the network of Gulen.

According to government figures from March, around 500,000 people have been arrested for alleged Gulen connections since the coup attempt – around 30,000 are still to be detained. Last week alone, Anadolu reports said 282 people had been arrested. In the week before, there were 200 people. Civil rights activists accuse President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of suppressing critics.

The government defends the action as a necessary measure to ensure security in the country. Erdogan said in a speech in April that there were more than 4,400 police officers among the current detainees. In total, around 31,000 police officers were removed from office, as well as more than 15,000 members of the military.

After a coup attempt, Turkey sentenced former top military personnel to life imprisonment.

Muhammed Fethullah Gülen (born 27 April 1941) is a Turkish Islamic scholar, preacher, and de facto leader of the Gülen movement – an international, faith-based civil society organization presently outlawed in Turkey as an alleged “armed terrorist group.” An influential Ottomanist, he was a local state imam from 1959 to 1981. Since 1999, Gülen has lived in self-exile in the United States near Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

A Turkish court sentenced a total of 151 defendants to life imprisonment last month in one of the biggest trials in connection with the coup attempt three years ago. Around 128 defendants were sentenced to life sentences with more stringent prison conditions. Another 23 defendants were thus sentenced to life imprisonment without more stringent prison conditions.

Among the charges were attempted an overthrow of the “constitutional order,” murder and attempted murder. Among those convicted were former Air Force commander Akin Ozturk, Mehmet Disli, a former senior government official’s brother, and Ali Yazici, a former military aide to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The trial began in May 2017 in the largest courtroom in a prison complex outside the capital of Ankara. In total, 224 suspects were tried, including some 20 former generals.

Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul praised the “exemplary nature” of the Turkish judiciary. “Justice has been done,” he told reporters in Ankara.

In the coup attempt in July 2016, according to the government, nearly 250 people were killed. Since then, nearly 290 trials have been initiated, of which 261 have previously led to 3239 convictions, according to the Department of Justice.

The Turkish government blames the Gulen movement for the July 2016 coup attempt. Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen has been living in US exile since 1999. He denies the allegations. Gulen’s case and twelve other absent defendants were decoupled from the rest of the process by the judge.

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George Mtimba

George clarifies how the news is changing the world, how world news trends affect you. Also, George is a professional journalist, a freelance news reporter and writer who is passionate with current world news.


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