Turkey targets 155 suspected Gulenists in new operations, police, media say

In this file photo, Turkish police stand guard in Ankara, Turkey. (Reuters)
Updated 23 March 2018
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Turkey targets 155 suspected Gulenists in new operations, police, media say

ISTANBUL: Turkish authorities began rounding up 155 suspected followers of the cleric Fethullah Gulen on Friday, police and media said.
Ankara accuses Gulen, who lives in the United States, of masterminding a failed coup in July 2016, a claim he denies. Since the coup attempt, the authorities have arrested thousands of his suspected followers and fired thousands more.
Friday’s roundup included warrants for 55 employees in 13 provinces of Isik Publications, a publishing company that printed Gulen’s books, Istanbul police said.
Warrants were also issued for 38 former police officers in six provinces who were accused of being members of Gulen’s purported network, the state-run news agency Anadolu reported. Twenty-four had been detained, it said.
In addition, police targeted 62 executives of five labor unions in a third operation spread across seven provinces, Anadolu said. Thirty-eight had been detained, it said.
The labor unions were part of Aksiyon Is Confederation, an association of unions that was shut down over suspected links to the Gulen network.
In the 18 months through December 2017, nearly 160,000 people have been arrested and 152,000 civil servants sacked as part of a post-coup crackdown, according to a report published by the United Nations on Tuesday.
The UN urged Turkey to end its state of emergency, which was declared after the coup and has been extended six times. It accused Ankara of mass arrests, arbitrary sackings, collective punishment and torturing detainees.
Turkey’s foreign ministry said the report was filled with unfounded allegations and compared the criticism to propaganda from militant groups.
The crackdown has also been criticized by Turkey’s Western allies, who accuse President Tayyip Erdogan of using the failed putsch as a pretext to quash dissent. Turkey says the measures are necessary to combat threats to national security.


Iraq court condemns to death ‘deputy of Daesh leader’

Updated 19 September 2018
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Iraq court condemns to death ‘deputy of Daesh leader’

  • An Iraqi courtsentenced to death by hanging one of the most prominent leaders of Daesh
  • Al-Ithawi was extradited from Turkey earlier this year having fled Syria as the group’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” crumbled

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi court on Wednesday sentenced a prominent militant described as a deputy of Daesh group leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi to death on terrorism charges.
“The Karkh criminal court in Baghdad sentenced to death by hanging one of the most prominent leaders of Daesh, who served as a deputy of Baghdadi,” judicial spokesman Abdel Sattar Bayraqdar said.
Ismail Alwan Salman Al-Ithawi was extradited from Turkey earlier this year having fled Syria as the group’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” crumbled.
He was tracked and detained through cooperation between Turkish, Iraqi and US intelligence agencies, a senior Iraqi official told AFP in February.
A native of the Iraqi city of Ramadi, Ithawi was accused of holding several positions including Daesh “minister” in charge of religious edicts.
Iraq declared “victory” over Daesh In December after a three-year war against the extremists who once controlled nearly one third of the country as well as swathes of neighboring Syria.
Baghdadi has been pronounced dead on several occasions, but an Iraqi intelligence official said in May that he remained alive in Syrian territory by the Iraqi border.
The Daesh chief called on Muslims to wage “jihad” in a purported new audio recording released last month.