Turkey suspends more than 12,000 police officers, shuts TV station
A Turkish official, who did not wish to be named, confirmed the suspension, adding that the individuals would continue to be paid two-thirds of their salary 'pending further investigation'. Photograph: (Getty)
Turkey suspended more than 12,000 police officers today over suspected links to Fethullah Gulen, accused of orchestrating the failed coup in July.
Of the 12,801 suspended from duty as part of the investigation into the coup attempt, 2,523 were police chiefs, the police headquarters said in a statement. In total, Turkey has suspended around 270,000 police officers, international news agency AFP reported.
The decision was made over their suspected links to the Gulen movement which Turkey blames for the failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 15.
A former Erdogan ally, Fethullah Gulen, has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999. He has denied involvement in the coup bid and has also ridiculed the description of his group by the Turkish authorities as the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO), saying he merely runs a peaceful organisation called Hizmet (Service).
The government announced a three-month state of emergency a few days after the coup attampt. The emergency was extended on Monday a futher 90 days from October 19.
According to AFP, a Turkish official, who did not wish to be named, confirmed the suspension, adding that the individuals would continue to be paid two-thirds of their salary "pending further investigation".
Meanwhile, a prominent pro-Kurdish television channel was raided and broadcasts cut under the emergency laws, over accusations of supporting Kurdish militants.
Turkish authorities have repeatedly asked the United States to extradite or detain Gulen. A team of US officials is reviewing the evidence against the cleric.
Turkey also led a massive crackdown on media after the attempted coup, imprisoning hundreds of journalists and shutting down media outlets.
(WION with inputs from AFP)