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Turkey orders detention of 166 people on coup-related charges

The July coup was meant to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who suspects the US-based Fethullah G?len was behind it. Photograph: (AFP)

WION Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey Oct 07, 2016, 06.54 AM (IST)

Turkey issued detention warrants against 166 people, including police chiefs, for allegedly participating in the July coup, state-run Anadolu agency reported. 

This was initially aimed at Istanbul police headquarters but later spread across 35 provinces.

Anadolu reported that people who used a smartphone application ByLock were targeted in the operation.

People close to Fethullah Gulen, who is believed to have masterminded the July coup to overthrow Turkish President Recep Erdogan, have been known to use the app since 2014, Reuters reported. 

Turkish intelligence agency had identified at least 56,000 Gulen's operatives through ByLock, a senior official had said in August. 

Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, has denied any involvement. 

Since then, at least 32,000 have been arrested and are pending trail and around 100,000 security officials, civil servants, university professors have been suspended or fired.

Critics are calling this a purge while NATO and European Union have raised concerns over innocent people getting punished. 

(WION with inputs from Reuters)


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