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Iran Press TV

More than 40,000 detained over coup attempt: Turkish PM

Iran Press TV

Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:49AM

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says more than 40,000 people have been detained in connection with last month's failed coup, which Ankara blames on US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Speaking live on national television on Wednesday, Yildirim said around 20,355 of those detained have been formally arrested since the July 15 abortive putsch.

Yildirim added that 79,900 people have been removed from public duty in the military, police, civil service and judiciary.

Moreover, some 4,262 companies and institutions linked to Gulen have been shut down, the Turkish premier said.

At least 246 people were killed and more than 2,100 others sustained injuries in the coup attempt. Gulen has condemned the coup attempt and denied any involvement in the violence.

Turkey is seeking Gulen's extradition from the United States. Washington has said it would only do so if it has firm evidence.

On Wednesday, Ankara issued a decree, paving the way for the conditional release of some 38,000 inmates not linked to the failed coup attempt.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said the release was "not an amnesty" but the measure could eventually apply to almost half of the Turkish prison population which has swelled to over 200,000 since the bungled coup.

"The regulation refers to crimes committed before July 1, 2016. The crimes committed after July 1, 2016 are outside its scope," Bozdag said on Twitter.

In a separate decree, however, Turkey dismissed 2,300 more officers from the police force, in addition to another 136 military officers and 196 employees from its information technology authority.

Turkey's crackdown has raised concerns among European nations and human rights organizations, who have urged the Turkish government to show restraint.

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