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Iran Press TV

Erdogan says post-coup crackdown boosts judiciary

Iran Press TV

Thu Sep 1, 2016 3:57PM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defended Ankara's massive post-coup crackdown on thousands of judges and prosecutors, saying the measure will bolster the country's judiciary.

Speaking to judges and prosecutors in the capital Ankara on Thursday, Erdogan rejected that the crackdown, which was launched after the 15 July coup attempt, would weaken Turkey's judiciary.

"Quite the contrary I believe it will cause significant relief in the implementation of real justice," said Erdogan of the detention of around 3,500 judges and prosecutors who are believed to be connected to Fethullah Gulen, a US-based opposition accused of masterminding the coup attempt.

Around 40,000 people have been detained in Turkey on charges of having links with the Gulen movement, as part of the clampdown underway since July 16, when the coup attempt was declared over.

Turkey says around 20,000 of the suspects have been formally arrested. Around 80,000 have also been relived of or suspended from public duty in the military, police, civil service and judiciary.

On Thursday, state media said the top Turkish judicial board has dismissed 543 more judges and prosecutors, bringing the number of the judiciary officials sacked so far to 3,300.

Ankara has faced fierce criticism from the West, especially Europe where governments and rights campaigners accuse the Turkish government of acting beyond the rule of law.

Turkey rejects the claims, saying the criticism is part of the Westerners' sympathy for the coup plotters. Ankara has also defended the crackdown as a bid to avoid a repetition of such a putsch.

The Turkish Ministry of National Defense announced Thursday that the army and navy have dishonorably discharged 820 personnel of whom 648 were already under arrest.

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