Turkey orders arrest of 223 navy personnel over suspected Gulen hyperlinks – state media

ANKARA — Turkey has ordered the arrest of 223 serving navy personnel throughout the nation and within the breakaway state of Northern Cyprus over suspected hyperlinks to a community Ankara accuses of organizing an tried coup in 2016, state media stated on Saturday.

Authorities are looking for the suspects throughout 49 provinces in Turkey and in Northern Cyprus, state broadcaster TRT Haber stated. It stated 100 of these going through arrest had been from the military, whereas 41 from the air pressure and 32 from the navy.

Ankara blames U.S.-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.

Within the three-year purge for the reason that coup try, greater than 77,000 individuals have been jailed pending trial and about 150,000 civil servants, navy personnel and others have been sacked or suspended from their jobs.

Turkey’s Western allies and rights teams have criticized the size 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 crucial response to the size of the safety risk which Turkey faces, vowing to eradicate Gulen’s community. (Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Enhancing by Mark Potter)