Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan (C) reacts after attending the funeral of a victim of the coup
attempt of July 15, in Istanbul, July 17, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been detained in the wake of
the recent abortive coup, local media say.
Anadolu news agency said Sunday that Colonel Ali Yazici, who started
working for Erdogan in August 2015, is accused of involvement in the
coup plot and was in the Turkish capital of Ankara during the weekend
The detention came after Ankara launched an intensive
crackdown on the judiciary and the military, with over 6,000 people
reportedly arrested over the coup attempt.
“Now the clean-up
operations are continuing. We have around 6,000 people detained. The
number will increase above 6,000,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag was
quoted as saying by Anadolu.
The botched putsch began late on July
15, when a faction of the Turkish military blocked Istanbul’s iconic
Bosphorus Bridge and strafed the headquarters of the Turkish
intelligence agency and parliament in the capital.
Tanks, helicopters and soldiers clashed with police and people on the streets of the two main cities.
rushed back to Istanbul from a Mediterranean holiday and called on
people to defy the coup plotters’ orders of a curfew and stage a rally
in support of his government.
According to a latest report by the
Turkish Foreign Ministry, the death toll from Turkey’s failed military
coup has risen to more than 290. Over 1,400 people have also been
Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen speaks to journalists at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, July 16, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)
Turkey has called for the extradition of eight people thought to have
been involved in the attempted coup who landed aboard a military
helicopter in Greece on Saturday.
Erdogan has blamed Fethullah
Gulen for the coup plot, but the US-based cleric “categorically” denied
the claim and described it as “insulting.”
The Turkish president
has repeatedly accused the cleric of plotting to overthrow him by
building a network of supporters in the media, judiciary and education,
an allegation Gulen denies.
Erdogan and Gulen were allies until
police and prosecutors, seen as sympathetic to the latter, opened a
corruption investigation into Erdogan’s inner circle in 2013.
investigation led to the resignation of the ministers of economy,
interior, and urbanization. Gulen is also viewed to be behind the leaks
that led to the probe.