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.


Iran says it is preparing for satellite launch

Updated 47 min 56 sec ago

Iran says it is preparing for satellite launch

  • Iran tried and failed to launch two satellites into orbit in January and February last year
  • Iran has sent several satellites into orbit over the past decade

TEHRAN: Iran said Sunday that two newly constructed satellites have passed pre-launch tests and will be transported to the nation's space center for eventual launch, without elaborating.
Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi tweeted about the development, calling it an “important research step.”
Iran has not said when it will launch the satellites, but often coordinates its launches with national holidays. It will celebrate the 41st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution next month.
Iran's largely state-run media say the 90-kilogram (200-pound) Zafar satellites each have four high-resolution color cameras and will monitor and transmit data on natural resources as well as agricultural and environmental developments.
Iran says its satellite program, like its nuclear activities, is aimed at scientific research and other civilian applications. The US and other Western countries have long been suspicious of the program because the same technology can be used to develop long-range missiles.
Iran tried and failed to launch two satellites into orbit in January and February last year.
A rocket exploded inside the Imam Khomeini Space Center in August during what officials later said was a test-launch. Iranian officials did not acknowledge the mishap until satellite imagery showed the explosion. Officials blamed a technical malfunction.
In a separate incident, a fire killed three researchers at the space center, which is some 240 kilometers (150 miles) southeast of the capital, Tehran.
Iran has sent several satellites into orbit over the past decade, and in 2013 it launched a monkey into space.