Turkey orders 176 soldiers detained over ties to cleric

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, has denied any involvement in the attempted coup. (File/AFP)
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Updated 14 January 2020

Turkey orders 176 soldiers detained over ties to cleric

  • The latest police operation was coordinated from the western city of Izmir
  • Six F-16 warplane pilots were among those set to be detained

ISTANBUL: Turkish prosecutors on Tuesday ordered 176 soldiers detained over suspected links to the network that Ankara says was behind a coup attempt three-and-a-half years ago, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.
Suspected followers of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen have been targeted in a sustained crackdown since a failed putsch in July 2016 in which some 250 people were killed. Operations against the network are still routine.
The latest police operation was coordinated from the western city of Izmir and targeted people in 49 provinces, Anadolu said. It said those facing arrest included 143 lieutenants, 97 of them serving, and 33 junior lieutenants, 11 of them serving.
Six F-16 warplane pilots were among those set to be detained, it added.
Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, has denied any involvement in the attempted coup.
In the subsequent purge, around 80,000 people have been jailed pending trial and some 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others sacked or suspended from their jobs.
Turkey’s Western allies and rights groups have criticized the scale of the crackdown, while Ankara has defended the measures as a necessary response to the security threat.


Sudan rebels, govt extend peace talks for three weeks

Updated 28 min 53 sec ago

Sudan rebels, govt extend peace talks for three weeks

  • The SRF and Khartoum representatives signed a deal to keep negotiations going

JUBA: The Sudanese government and a coalition of rebel groups on Monday extended peace talks for another three weeks after missing a deadline for a final peace deal.
The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) — a coalition of nine rebel groups — and Khartoum representatives signed a deal to keep negotiations going after failing to wrap up talks by February 15.
“Hopefully this will be the last extension for these talks,” SRF deputy secretary general Yasir Arman told AFP.
Important steps have been made to “finalize a peace agreement,” Arman said.
The peace talks, which began in South Sudan in October, aim to end conflicts in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan, where rebels have fought bloody campaigns against marginalization by Khartoum under ousted president Omar Al-Bashir.
Hopes of a peace deal were raised after Sudan’s transitional government, led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, made ending conflict in these areas a priority.
So far the parties have agreed on a cease-fire, humanitarian access, land issues and the resettlement of those displaced by the conflicts.