Turkey orders arrest of 223 military personnel over suspected Gulen links: state media

President Tayyip Erdogan has used the abortive July 15, 2016 coup as a pretext to quash dissent in Turkey. (Reuters)
Updated 14 September 2019

Turkey orders arrest of 223 military personnel over suspected Gulen links: state media

  • Authorities are seeking the suspects across 49 provinces in Turkey and in Northern Cyprus
  • Ankara blames US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen of masterminding the failed putsch on July 15, 2016

ANKARA: Turkey has ordered the arrest of 223 serving military personnel across the country and in the breakaway state of Northern Cyprus over suspected links to a network Ankara accuses of organizing an attempted coup in 2016, state media said on Saturday.
Authorities are seeking the suspects across 49 provinces in Turkey and in Northern Cyprus, state broadcaster TRT Haber said. It said 100 of those facing arrest were from the army, while 41 from the air force and 32 from the navy.
Ankara blames US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, of masterminding the failed putsch on July 15, 2016. He has denied any involvement.
In the three-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 measures as a necessary response to the scale of the security threat which Turkey faces, vowing to eradicate Gulen’s network.


Libya’s GNA govt detains 35 Egyptian fishermen

Updated 12 August 2020

Libya’s GNA govt detains 35 Egyptian fishermen

  • The GNA is still holding the fishermen without a clear accusation to justify their detention

CAIRO: The fate of at least 35 Egyptian fishermen hangs in the balance after they were arrested by the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) on Nov. 2 last year.  

The families of the fishermen have appealed to the Egyptian government to step up their efforts to secure their freedom as Cairo has been working on their release since November.

Little is known about the fate of the fishermen in Libya other than their location, after it was leaked to Egyptian authorities that they were held in the Turmina Prison, which is affiliated with the GNA.

The head of the Fishermen’s Syndicate in Kafr El-Sheikh, Ahmed Nassar, said they had not been able to communicate with the fishermen since last November and after their disappearance they came to learn that the GNA authorities had detained them.

The GNA is still holding the fishermen without a clear accusation to justify their detention. Nassar said that the fishermen were not fishing in Libyan territory without a permit.

Nassar explained that the fishermen were working on Libyan boats. Alongside them were a number of colleagues working on boats that belong to the Al-Wefaq government. They were not approached by anyone unlike their detained colleagues who were arrested and sent to prison without being charged with any crime.

The Fishermen’s Syndicate chief said that people had called on the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the government, and the consular section had also been contacted about the matter.

Many of the detained fishermen come from Kafr El-Sheikh, while others come from Abu Qir in the governorate of Alexandria.

The fishermen had been supporting families of up to eight members.

Egyptian authorities say they are exerting great efforts to bring the fishermen back safely, while the fishermen’s families continue to demand safety and justice for the men.