Turkey seeks nearly 150 arrests over Gulen ties

Tens of thousands of people have been arrested over alleged links to Fetullah Gulen since the failed 2016 coup while over 100,000 have been sacked or suspended from the public sector. (AFP)
Updated 04 January 2019
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Turkey seeks nearly 150 arrests over Gulen ties

  • Prosecutors in Istanbul, Konya and Ankara issued arrest warrants for 137 people
  • Turkish officials stress that the operations are necessary to remove the ‘virus’ caused by the Gulen movement’s infiltration of key institutions

ANKARA: Turkish police on Friday launched nationwide raids to detain nearly 150 people, including military personnel, suspected of ties to the group blamed for the 2016 attempted coup, local media reported.
Prosecutors in Istanbul, Konya and Ankara issued arrest warrants for 137 people as part of different investigations into followers of US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, state news agency Anadolu and NTV broadcaster reported.
Turkey has claimed that Gulen ordered the coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 15, 2016 — a charge he vehemently denies.
The raids were spread across more than 30 provinces including Ankara where the public prosecutor issued detention warrants for 35 non-commissioned officers in the navy including 10 still in active duty.
Tens of thousands of people have been arrested over alleged links to Gulen since 2016 while over 100,000 have been sacked or suspended from the public sector.
Although Ankara has been criticized by human rights defenders and its Western allies over the scale of the crackdown, the nationwide raids have continued in recent weeks.
Turkish officials stress that the operations are necessary to remove the “virus” caused by the Gulen movement’s infiltration of key Turkish institutions.


Israeli fire wounds 14 as thousands of Palestinians protest at Gaza border

Updated 10 min 43 sec ago
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Israeli fire wounds 14 as thousands of Palestinians protest at Gaza border

GAZA CITY: Thousands of Palestinians have gathered for a weekly protest along the fence between Gaza and Israel.
The Palestinian Health Ministry says that Israeli gunfire wounded 14 Palestinians and that three medics suffered from a barrage of tear gas that targeted their ambulance.
The protest appeared subdued compared to last week’s violence, in which one woman was killed and more than two dozen Palestinians and an Israeli soldier were wounded, prompting retaliatory Israeli air strikes.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Israel would decide whether to allow the latest delivery of economic aid from Qatar to flow into Gaza based on the level of escalation Friday.
Israel has been allowing Qatar to transfer batches of $15 million in aid, intended for the salaries of Gaza’s civil servants, directly to Hamas since November. But the shipment was delayed earlier this month after a rocket was fired from Gaza that caused no casualties but threatened to spike tensions between the bitter enemies.
Gaza’s Hamas rulers have orchestrated the weekly protests, in part to call for the lifting of a crippling Israeli and Egyptian blockade imposed when the group seized power in 2007. The blockade has devastated the local economy in Gaza, where unemployment exceeds 50 percent.
Israeli forces have killed more than 185 Palestinians and wounded thousands since the demonstrations began last spring. An Israeli soldier was killed in July.
Earlier Friday, Israeli forces demolished the family home of a Palestinian charged with fatally stabbing an American-Israeli settler several months ago.
Israeli soldiers surrounded Khalil Jabarin’s home in the southern West Bank village of Yatta and destroyed the apartment with explosives after his family cleared out.
Jabarin, 17, was accused of killing the US-born settler activist Ari Fuld at a mall near a West Bank settlement in September. Footage showed Fuld firing at his attacker before collapsing.
The military says dozens of Palestinians protesting the demolition hurled rocks toward the forces, who responded with “riot dispersal means,” which usually refers to rubber-tipped bullets and tear gas.
While Israel claims home demolitions serve as a deterrent to potential attackers, critics say the tactic amounts to collective punishment that inflames hostility.