Turkey orders arrest of 176 military personnel over suspected Gulen links

Western allies of Turkey say Erdogan is using the failed coup to quash dissent. (File/AFP)
Updated 09 July 2019

Turkey orders arrest of 176 military personnel over suspected Gulen links

  • The operation included the army, air force and navy
  • More than 77,000 people were jailed since the failed putsch in 2016

ISTANBUL: Turkey has ordered the arrest of 176 serving military personnel over suspected links to the network which Ankara says was behind an attempted coup three years ago, the Istanbul chief prosecutors’ office said on Tuesday.
Among those facing arrest were a colonel, two lieutenant colonels, five majors, seven captains and 100 lieutenants in an operation encompassing the army, air force and navy, the statement said.
Ankara says US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen masterminded the failed putsch on July 15, 2016. He has denied any involvement.
In the 3-year purge since the coup attempt, more than 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial and about 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others have been sacked or suspended from their jobs.
Turkey’s Western allies and rights groups have criticized the scale of the crackdown, saying President Tayyip Erdogan has used the abortive coup as a pretext to quash dissent.
Ankara has defended the clampdown as a necessary response to the scale of the security threat which Turkey faces, vowing to eradicate Gulen’s network.


Israeli lawmakers submit bill to dissolve parliament

Updated 51 min 27 sec ago

Israeli lawmakers submit bill to dissolve parliament

  • Israel has been mired in political deadlock for months
  • Lawmakers from the rival sides together tabled the bill

JERUSALEM: Israeli legislators submitted a bill Tuesday that would dissolve parliament and trigger unprecedented third national elections in less than a year.
Israel has been mired in political deadlock for months.
With the two largest parties, Likud and Blue and White, unable to form a power-sharing agreement ahead of a Wednesday deadline, lawmakers from the rival sides together tabled the bill.
It is expected to go to a vote in parliament on Wednesday, setting the date for the next election on March 2.
“Under the exceptional circumstances that have emerged, and after two adjacent election campaigns in which no government was formed, the dissolution of the 22nd Knesset is being proposed,” the bill reads.
Neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor his main rival Benny Gantz have been able to form a coalition government after two inconclusive elections. Polls have predicted the third vote is unlikely to produce dramatically different results.
The legislation is something of a formality. The allotted period for forming a government following September’s election expires at midnight on Wednesday. Without a coalition deal, elections would have been automatically triggered later in March.
Each of this year’s elections, and their subsequent coalition jockeying, have largely been a referendum on Netanyahu, who was recently indicted for bribery, breach of trust and fraud in three corruption affairs.
Blue and White’s Gantz has refused to sit in a Netanyahu-led coalition, citing the long-serving leader’s legal troubles. Netanyahu has refused to step down, still overwhelmingly backed by his Likud party and his adoring base.