Turkey orders arrests of 100 soldiers in post-coup crackdown

Arrest warrants were issued Monday for 100 Turkish soldiers accused of plotting with terrorists to overthrow the government in Ankara more than two years ago.

A Turkish man holds a national flag during a demonstration in Istanbul, Turkey, in support of the government after a failed coup on July 16, 2016. Photo by Hanna Noori
A Turkish man holds a national flag during a demonstration in Istanbul, Turkey, in support of the government after a failed coup on July 16, 2016. Photo by Hanna Noori

The Turkish Land Forces Command are accused of using pay phones to communicate with members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization, which organized the failed coup in July 2016. The attempt left 251 people dead and 2,200 injured.
FETO is also accused of infiltrating Turkish institutions, such as the military, the police and the courts.

The FETO group is led by Muslim religious leader and U.S. businessman Fethullah Gulen. Turkish police have raided Gulen’s supporters in Turkey, arresting 77,000 people in connection with the coup. Another 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others have been fired from the government.

Human rights groups and Western allies say Turkey used the crackdown after the coup as a means to suppress dissent.

Gulen denies any ties to the terror group and lives in exile in a sprawling compound in Pennsylvania. The United States has refused to extradite Gulen saying Turkey doesn’t have enough evidence.

ByNicholas Sakelaris