Roughly 43 thousand were arrested on suspicion of coup

Thu, 19.01.2017 18:03

In Turkey there were arrested 43 thousand people over last 6 months for links with Fethullah Gülen, whom government is accused of an attempt of coup.

Gulen was longtime ally of the government, though in recent years the relationship soured. He denies the charges of plotting the July coup.

Critics of Erdogan say the crackdown over the last half-year has expanded from alleged Gulenists to the wider opposition, as well as journalists. The European Federation of Journalists says 124 reporters and other media workers are currently jailed in Turkey.

Erdogan also said 871 members of the security forces have been killed in battles over the last 18 months with Kurdish militants affiliated with the armed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Also, 337 civilians have died, he said.

The president said 10,000 "terrorists" have been neutralized since 2015, when peace talks and a ceasefire with the PKK broke down, and 12,000 militants and alleged supporters have been arrested.

Erdogan has ruled out returning to peace talks with the PKK, which says it is fighting for greater rights and autonomy for the large Kurdish minority in Turkey.

The PKK has given a far lower number of its own fighters killed in battles with state security forces. The International Crisis Group confirmed at least 2,495 people have been killed in the renewed violence, including 1,021 PKK militants.

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Source: eblnews.com

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