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Turkey seeks arrest of 152 for alleged coup links

July 03, 2019 00:00:00

Beijing: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) talking with Chinese President Xi Jinping (centre) as they are preparing to inspect Chinese honour guards during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday — AFP

ANKARA, July 02 (AFP): Turkish police launched nationwide raids on Tuesday to detain 152 individuals accused of ties to the group blamed for a 2016 coup attempt, state media reported.

Prosecutors from Ankara, Istanbul, Konya and Izmir issued dozens of arrest warrants for suspects including soldiers -- some still on active duty and some already sacked -- according to the Anadolu news agency.

Sixty-three suspects had so far been arrested, the agency said.

Since the attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, tens of thousands have been detained on suspicion of ties to US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of ordering the failed coup. He strongly denies the accusation.

More than 140,000 public sector employees have also been sacked or suspended over suspected links to Gulen.

There have been hundreds of detentions in recent months despite criticism from Western allies and rights activists who say Ankara is using the purge to target opponents.

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