Turkey orders 70 former ministry personnel detained

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 17, 2017 4:39 AM

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish authorities issued detention warrants for 70 former finance ministry employees on Thursday over alleged links to last year's failed coup attempt, broadcaster CNN Turk said.

Turkey accuses U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in the United States since 1999, of orchestrating the abortive putsch in July 2016. Gulen has denied involvement and condemned the coup attempt.

Since the coup attempt some 150,000 people have been sacked or suspended from jobs in the public and private sectors and more than 50,000 have been detained for alleged links to it.

The crackdown has alarmed rights groups and some of Turkey's Western allies, who fear the government is using the coup as a pretext to quash dissent.

The government says the purges are necessary due to the gravity of the threats it faces following the failed coup.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; editing by Andrew Roche)