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.


Iraq PM-designate to present new cabinet for approval next week — statement

Updated 17 October 2018
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Iraq PM-designate to present new cabinet for approval next week — statement

  • Abdul Mahdi was named as PM by Iraq’s new President Barham Salih last month

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s prime minister-designate Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Wednesday he would present a new cabinet to parliament for approval next week.
Abdul Mahdi was named by Iraq’s new President Barham Salih last month, and has until the beginning of November to form a government. The election of Salih, a Kurd, and his nomination of Abdul Mahdi, a Shiite, has broken months of political deadlock in Iraq after an inconclusive May election.
“The prime minister-designate... is carrying out the necessary communications with the head of parliament and the blocs to set a day” to present the cabinet, his office said in a statement on Facebook and Twitter.
Since a US invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, the Iraqi presidency has been traditionally held by a Kurd, the premiership by a Shiite Arab and the parliamentary speaker has been a Sunni Arab.
Abdul Mahdi, a former vice president, oil minister and finance minister, faces the tasks of rebuilding much of the country after war with Daesh militants, healing ethnic and sectarian tensions, and balancing foreign relations with Iraq’s two major allies — Iran and its arch-foe the United States.