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Turkey suspends more than 12,000 police officers

Turkey suspends more than 12,000 police officers
By Catherine Hardy with Reuters
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Officials say it is in connection with suspected links with the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who denies claims he masterminded a failed coup in Turkey in July.


More than 12,000 police officers have been suspended from duty in Turkey.

Officials say it is in connection with suspected links with the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and his network.

Ankara blames Gulen for masterminding a failed coup in July and wants the US to extradite him so he can face prosecution.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, denies any involvement.

State of emergency

The suspensions come after the Interior Ministry launched an investigation into the police force.

Yesterday, Turkey’s state of emergency was extended for another three months.

Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus told the reporters the extension will come into effect on October 19 when the current state of emergency expires.

Last week, Turkey’s President said Turkey would benefit from the extension.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said more time was needed to hunt down those responsible for the July 15 failed coup.

He suggested the state of emergency could last more than a year.

In numbers

Of the total number of police suspended across the country, 2,523 are police chiefs.

Turkey’s total police force numbers around 250,000.

Around 100,000 people have been suspended from the military, civil service, police and judiciary in the post-coup crackdown.

An estimated 32,000 have been arrested for their alleged role in the abortive putsch.


The crackdown has raised concerns among rights groups and Western allies.

The concern is Erdogan is using the failed coup as a pretext to curtail all dissent and intensify his actions against suspected sympathisers of Kurdish militants.

What they are saying

“France declared a state of emergency for six months following a minor event. And we were expecting for it to be extended by three months. I think it is pretty normal. It should not be the case, because freedoms are restricted,” 40-year-old restaurant worker Kayhan Direkoglu.

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