Turkey orders arrest of more than 100 military personnel over suspected Gulen ties

The Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office said it ordered the arrest of 50 suspects. (File/AFP)
Updated 11 January 2019
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Turkey orders arrest of more than 100 military personnel over suspected Gulen ties

  • Police operations targeting supporters of cleric Fethullah Gulen have been carried out regularly since the failed putsch and have recently gained momentum
  • More than 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial, while 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others have been sacked

ISTANBUL: Turkey ordered the arrest of more than 100 soldiers and former military students over suspected links to the network of the US-based Muslim cleric accused of orchestrating a 2016 attempted coup, prosecutors and state media said on Friday.
Police operations targeting supporters of cleric Fethullah Gulen have been carried out regularly since the failed putsch and have recently gained momentum. Gulen denies involvement in the coup attempt, in which 250 people were killed.
The Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office said it ordered the arrest of 50 suspects — six of them officers and the rest military academy students expelled after the putsch — in an investigation into people linked to Gulen in the military.
This operation, spread across 16 provinces, was focused on calls made over fixed phone lines, the statement said.
In the southern Adana province, prosecutors ordered another 52 soldiers arrested, 42 of them serving, in an operation spread across 20 provinces, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.
It said colonels, majors, lieutenants and other serving officers were facing arrest over pay phone calls they made to other alleged Gulen-linked people. Many suspects have already been detained, it added.
More than 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial, while 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others have been sacked or suspended from their jobs as part of the post-coup purges. Widespread operations are still routine.
Rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies have voiced concerns over the crackdown, saying President Tayyip Erdogan has used the abortive putsch as a pretext to quash dissent. The government has said the security measures were necessary due to the gravity of the threat Turkey faces.


Explosion targets a tourist bus, injures at least 17 near Cairo’s Great Pyramids: Security sources

Updated 14 min 53 sec ago
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Explosion targets a tourist bus, injures at least 17 near Cairo’s Great Pyramids: Security sources

  • There were no reports of deaths
  • One security source said they included South African nationals

CAIRO: An explosion targeting a tourist bus injured at least 17 people near a new museum being built close to the Giza pyramids in Egypt on Sunday, two security sources said.

The sources said that most of the injuries were foreign tourists, with some social media users posting pictures of a damaged bus and what looked like injured tourists.

One security source said they included South African nationals.

There were no reports of deaths. A witness, Mohamed El-Mandouh, told Reuters he heard a "very loud explosion" while sitting in traffic near the site of the blast.

Pictures posted on social media showed a bus with some of its windows blown out or shattered, and debris in the road next to a low wall with a hole in it.

It is the second to target foreign tourists near the famed pyramids in less than six months. In December, three Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian guide were killed and at least 10 others injured when a roadside bomb hit their tour bus less than 4 kilometres from the Giza pyramids. 

Egypt has battled militants for years in the Sinai Peninsula in an ongoing insurgency that has occasionally spilled over to the mainland, which often targets minority Christians or tourists.

The attack comes as Egypt's vital tourism industry is showing signs of recovery after years in the doldrums because of the political turmoil and violence that followed a 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Hosni Mubarak.

(With Agencies)