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'Political prisoners denied the right to meet lawyers, family or make phone calls in Turkey'

Turkey has also dismissed almost 9,000 officials, including a massive number of police officers. Photograph: (Getty)

Agencies New Delhi, India Jul 19, 2016, 10.42 AM (IST)
All political prisoners in Turkey are being denied the right to meet lawyers, family, and make phone calls, said the Mesopotamia Lawyers Association.

In addition, Turkey has banned 72 websites after after a failed coup which targeted the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 15. Turkey has also dismissed almost 9,000 officials, including a massive number of police officers, the state-run Anadolu news agency said yesterday citing the interior ministry.

A total of 8,777 public personnel including 7,899 police, one provincial governor and 29 governors of towns have been dismissed, the ministry said. They also include 614 members of the police force that looks after domestic security, it added.

Turkey's cracked down on coup plotters has left over 290 dead, as President Erdogan pointed the finger of blame at the supporters of US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is believed to wield influence in the police and judiciary.

Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey would consider reinstating the death penalty after the failed attempt to overthrow his government.

"In democracies, decisions are made based on what the people say. I think our government will speak with the opposition and come to a decision," he said, reacting to crowds in Istanbul calling for capital punishment.

"We cannot delay this anymore because in this country, those who launch a coup will have to pay the price for it," he told supporters after attending funerals for the putsch victims.

In the aftermath of Friday's foiled coup, there have been frequent calls from thousands of Erdogan supporters for capital punishment to make a return.

Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004 under reforms aimed at obtaining European Union membership.

Reinstatement would create further issues between the EU and Ankara in the already stalled membership talks.

Erdogan repeated calls for the United States to extradite Fethullah Gulen, blaming the coup on the US-based Islamic preacher and his followers, which he describes as a terrorist organisation.

Gulen condemned the military uprising "in the strongest terms" in a rare interview with reporters in Pennsylvania and rejected charges of being the coup mastermind, suggesting Erdogan may have staged it himself.

Erdogan earlier broken down in tears at the funeral of his long-time friend, Erol Olcak, and his 16-year-old son who were shot dead on Friday on the Bosphorus bridge.

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