Wednesday, 13 December, 2017

Turkey's Erdogan Says Coup Plotters Were Minority In Armed Forces

Howard Terry | 24 July, 2016, 07:00

Turkish leaders are not happy with last week's failed coup, and they're making their feelings known.

The extradition demand is likely to strain U.S.-Turkey ties as the Obama administration refers the matter to the Justice Department, which will determine whether the Turkish government has established probable cause that a crime was committed. The emergency rule was gradually lifted by 2002. State TRT television said 95 academics had been removed from their posts at Istanbul University alone. Gulen has denied any knowledge.

Turkish police are warning the two officers may be armed and have distributed their photos in hopes they can be captured.

Erdogan opened the National Security Council meeting shortly after returning to the capital Ankara for the first time since the Friday night insurrection.

Speaking after a meeting with Cabinet ministers and top security advisers here yesterday, Erdogan said the measure was being taken to counter threats to Turkish democracy.

The agency said Erdogan's Air Force adviser, Lt. Col. Erkan Kivrak, had been detained at a hotel where he was on holiday in Turkey's southern province of Antalya.

Ankara says the coup was masterminded by US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen and the massive crackdown appears to be targeting individuals suspected of any connection to Erdogan's ally-turned-foe.

But before the state of emergency was declared, the government banned a magazine from printing its edition on the coup and it revoked the licenses of 24 broadcasters it said were linked to cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Turkey's Telecommunications Communications Board said on Wednesday that an "administrative measure" had been taken against the website - the term it commonly uses when blocking access to sites.

The Turkish government has previously banned access to websites deemed to be carrying material critical of Turkey, including YouTube and Twitter. The Ministry of Education fired 15,200 people across the country.

US President Barack Obama spoke with Erdogan on Tuesday about the coup and the status of Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania.

The broad crackdown and calls to reinstate the death penalty for plotters drew concern from Western allies who said Ankara must uphold the rule of law in the country, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member whose cooperation in the fight against Islamic State is crucial to Washington.

F-16 jets pounded targets belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, in Iraq's Hakurk region, the Anadolu agency reported.

About 50,000 soldiers, police, judges, civil servants and teachers have been suspended or detained since the attempted uprising. He said he's ready to approve the restoration of the death penalty if parliament passes it - a step that could officially kill off Turkey's application for European Union membership, already effectively on ice.

"I condemn and reject in the strongest terms the attempted coup", Gulen, 77, said in an interview Monday with USA TODAY and several other reporters.

The Turkish president on Wednesday stressed solidarity with the United States in dealing with the extradition of Gulen, who was accused by Ankara of plotting the failed military coup.

At least 290 people were reported to have died in the failed coup.

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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