Turkey to suspend 12,800 police officers for coup links

Ankara, Oct 4 (IANS) Turkey was mulling suspending 12,801 police officers across 81 provinces for their alleged links with preacher Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara has accused of being behind the failed military coup in July, the General Directorate of Security said on Tuesday.

The Directorate in a statement said 2,523 of those listed for suspension were police chiefs. The decision was based on the state of emergency law, EFE news reported citing the authority.

The General Directorate of Security will investigate each police officer and dismiss them if their links with Gulen are confirmed.

Around 130,000 public employees have been suspended since the July 15 failed coup, ocal media reported.

Last week, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag confirmed that 70,000 persons had been suspended and 35,000 others placed under arrest.

Bozdag explained that these measures were taken as part of judicial investigations to identify those who were behind the coup.

On Monday, the Turkish cabinet also decided to extend for another 90 days the state of emergency imposed in the country on July 20.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that an extension of up to 12 months could be necessary in the current situation in order to combat the network of Islamist preacher Gulen, who has been living in the US since 1999.

Ankara has requested the US to extradite the preacher, considered to be the mastermind behind the failed coup.



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