Turkish authorities detain 56 over alleged Gulen links

Turkey says the measures are necessary to combat threats to national security. (File/AFP)
Updated 10 September 2018
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Turkish authorities detain 56 over alleged Gulen links

  • Turkey has detained 160,000 people and dismissed nearly the same number of civil servants since the putsch attempt
  • Erdogan’s critics accuse him of using the failed putsch as a pretext to quash dissent

ISTANBUL: Turkish authorities detained 48 soldiers and eight others over alleged links to the US-based cleric who Ankara says orchestrated a failed 2016 coup against President Tayyip Erdogan, the Hurriyet newspaper said on Monday.
Those detained were among 89 people whose detention was ordered in an investigation by Istanbul prosecutors, it said.
Authorities have carried out such sweeps against suspected supporters of the cleric Fethullah Gulen on a regular basis since the failed coup of July 2016, in which 250 people were killed. Gulen denies involvement.
Turkey has detained 160,000 people and dismissed nearly the same number of civil servants since the putsch attempt, the UN human rights office said in March. Of that number, more than 50,000 have been formally charged and kept in jail during their trials.
Turkey’s Western allies have criticized the crackdown, which took place under the state of emergency declared shortly after the coup attempt and which remained in effect for two years until July 2018.
Erdogan’s critics accuse him of using the failed putsch as a pretext to quash dissent. Turkey says the measures are necessary to combat threats to national security.


US puts up $10m reward for Hezbollah information

Updated 31 min 36 sec ago
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US puts up $10m reward for Hezbollah information

  • The money is for anyone who provides intelligence that allows the US to disrupt Hezbollah in key ways

WASHINGTON: The US on Monday offered a $10 million reward for information that would disrupt the finances of Lebanon’s Shiite militant movement Hezbollah.
The State Department said it would give the money to anyone who provides intelligence that allows the US to disrupt Hezbollah in key ways.
The areas include information on Hezbollah’s donors, on financial institutions that assist its transactions and on businesses controlled by the movement.
President Donald Trump’s administration has put a top priority on reducing the influence of Iran, the primary backer of Hezbollah.
The State Department listed three alleged Hezbollah financiers as examples of activities it was seeking to stop, with one, Ali Youssef Charara, allegedly funding the group by investing millions of dollars from Hezbollah in the telecommunications industry in West Africa.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has pointed to a recent appeal by Hezbollah for donations as a sign of US success in curbing Iran.
On a visit last month to Beirut, Pompeo urged Lebanon to counter the “dark ambitions” of Iran and Hezbollah but was rebuffed by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, who said Hezbollah was not a terrorist group and enjoyed a wide base.
The United States has vowed for decades to fight Shiite militants in Lebanon, with memories still bitter over the 1983 attack on a military barracks in Beirut that killed 241 Americans.
Hezbollah, however, also functions as a political party, with posts in the current cabinet, and enjoys support among some Lebanese who recall its guerrilla campaign that led Israel to withdraw from the country in 2000.