Turkey seeks to detain over 300 for alleged Gulen ties

Tens of thousands of people have been arrested over suspected links to Gulen since 2016. (File/AFP)
Updated 19 February 2019
0

Turkey seeks to detain over 300 for alleged Gulen ties

  • Tens of thousands of people have been arrested over suspected links to Gulen since 2016
  • More than 760 people were detained last week in operations across 76 provinces of Turkey’s 81 provinces, although 122 suspects were later freed under judicial supervision

ANKARA: Turkish police on Tuesday launched raids to detain over 300 people, including military personnel, suspected of ties to a group blamed for a 2016 coup bid, state media reported.
Prosecutors in Turkey’s three biggest provinces — Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir — issued arrest warrants for 324 people as part of different probes into followers of US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, the private DHA and the Anadolu state news agency said.
Turkey accuses Gulen of ordering the abortive bid to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 15, 2016 but he strongly denies the claim.
The Istanbul public prosecutor sought the arrest of 53 active duty soldiers in 15 provinces, including in the metropolis, Anadolu reported.
In the Aegean province of Izmir, the public prosecutor issued 182 arrest warrants with police conducting raids across 42 provinces, including Izmir, DHA reported.
The capital’s public prosecutor said it issued 89 arrest warrants in two separate probes including one looking at the gendarmerie, which is in charge of domestic security.
The Ankara prosecutor’s office said 30 suspects had already been detained.
The operations against alleged members of Gulen’s movement have increased in recent months.
More than 760 people were detained last week in operations across 76 provinces of Turkey’s 81 provinces, although 122 suspects were later freed under judicial supervision.
Sixteen other suspects were released, according to the Ankara public prosecutor’s office.
Tens of thousands of people have been arrested over suspected links to Gulen since 2016.
Meanwhile, more than 100,000 people have been sacked or suspended from the public sector.
Despite criticism from Western allies and human rights defenders over the scale of the crackdown, the police operations and probes continue with rigour.
Turkish officials insist that the raids are necessary to remove the “virus” caused by the Gulen movement’s infiltration of Turkish state bodies.


Syria force calls for international court to try Daesh extremists

Updated 17 min 21 sec ago
0

Syria force calls for international court to try Daesh extremists

  • SDF said this is a way to organize fair and just tribunals
  • The group said they do not have the capability to hold the detainees

AIN ISSA, Syria: US-backed forces in Syria Monday called for the establishment of an international court in the country to try suspected Daesh group extremists.

The announcement came two days after the militant group’s “caliphate” was declared defeated.

“We call on the international community to establish a special international tribunal in northeast Syria to prosecute terrorists,” the Syrian Democratic Forces said in a statement.

In this way, “trials can be conducted fairly and in accordance with international law and human rights covenants and charters,” it said.

Syria’s Kurds have previously warned that despite the demise of the Daesh proto-state, the thousands of foreign extremists they have detained are a time-bomb the world urgently needs to defuse.

According to the SDF, more than 5,000 militants — Syrian and foreign — have been captured since January.

The Kurdish administration in northeastern Syria has warned it does not have capacity to detain so many people.

But the home countries of suspected Daesh members are reluctant to take them back, due to potential security risks and the likely public backlash.

“The Kurdish administration in northeast Syria has appealed to the international community to shoulder its responsibilities toward members of the terrorist organization detained by Kurdish security forces,” read Monday’s statement.

“But unfortunately there was no response,” it said.

It called on the international community, particularly countries that have nationals detained, to support the establishment of an international tribunal, calling for legal and logistical cooperation and coordination.

In the past, two international tribunals were created by the international community: the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which tried genocide perpetrators in the African country, and the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which tried those accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in wars that tore apart the Balkans in the 1990s.