ISTANBUL (Dispatches) – Turkey on Wednesday continued to hunt the suspected military personnel who have allegedly been linked to a network believed to be behind a coup attempt in 2016 with a series of operations.
Police units launched operations in 34 provinces to catch at least 132 suspects upon the order of the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul, according to the NTV broadcaster.
The suspects included 82 soldiers on active duty and 50 expelled or retired military personnel, it said, noting that so far 106 of them have been detained.
On Tuesday, prosecutors in the western province of Izmir ordered the arrest of 66 suspects, including 48 serving military personnel, in an investigation of the armed forces.
The operation marks a fresh wave in a four-year-old crackdown targeting the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. He denies involvement in the July 2016 putsch, in which some 250 people were killed.
Since the coup attempt, about 80,000 people have been held pending trial and some 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others sacked or suspended. More than 20,000 people had been expelled from the Turkish military alone.
Ankara prosecutors on Friday ordered the detention of dozens of lawyers suspected of operating in support of Gulen.
Turkish and international lawyers’ groups said the lawyers were simply doing their job representing clients accused of Gulen links.