Turkey has ordered the arrest of 176 serving military personnel over suspected links to the network which Ankara says was behind an attempted coup three years ago, the Istanbul chief prosecutors’ office said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.
Among those facing arrest were a colonel, two lieutenant colonels, five majors, seven captains, and 100 lieutenants in an operation encompassing the army, air force, and navy, the statement said.
Ankara says United States-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, masterminded the failed putsch on July 15, 2016. However, he has denied any involvement.
The state of emergency allowed the government to rule by decree. It, in turn, used the decrees as a means to establish new rules in all of the country’s state institutions.
The resulting wave of firings and arrests prompted opposition members to deem the state of emergency as a “civil coup and a witch hunt against critics,” calling for its immediate lifting, but to no avail.
More than 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial, while about 150,000 people from the civil service, military, and elsewhere, have been fired or suspended from their jobs under crackdowns since the attempted coup.