Turkey detains 21 suspects over failed coup

Turkish police on Monday detained at least 21 suspects, over their alleged links to a network accused of masterminding a failed coup in 2016, local media reported. Police launched simultaneous operations against the suspects in 54 locations across Istanbul, the Hurriyet daily said. The majority of the detainees were former teachers who worked either for the schools run by the network or educational institutions of the state, according to the daily. Ankara blames Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Turkish cleric and his network of directing the July 2016 putsch, in which 250 people were killed.

Turkey witnessed the bloodiest coup attempt in its political history on July 15, 2016, when a section of the Turkish military launched a coordinated operation in several major cities to topple the government and unseat President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Soldiers and tanks took to the streets and a number of explosions rang out in Ankara and Istanbul.
Turkish fighter jets dropped bombs on their own parliament, while the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Hulusi Akar, was kidnapped by his own security detail.
For several hours, it looked like Turkey was going to face the fourth devastating military coup in its 95-year political history.
But at this point, something unprecedented happened.
As news of the coup attempt spread via social media, thousands of ordinary citizens, armed with nothing more than kitchen utensils, gathered in streets and squares around Anatolia to oppose the coup.
The crowds resisted tank fire and air bombardments and, with the help of loyalist soldiers and police forces, they defeated the coup attempt in a matter of hours. The government swiftly declared victory and scores of troops that had taken part in the coup surrendered on the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul.
Yet the overall price of victory was high: 241 people were killed and 2,194 others were injured.
Who was behind the coup?
The Turkish government blames the failed coup attempt on Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish preacher and businessman who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999.
Gulen is the leader of a widespread and influential religious movement known as "Hizmet" (Service), which owns foundations, associations, media organisations and schools in Turkey and abroad.
Gulen was once a strong ally of Erdogan, and during the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) struggle to end the military's influence in Turkish politics in the late 2000s, his organisation had its golden years.
During this period, the AKP-Gulen alliance turned into direct staffing of public positions. Many people in the bureaucracy were removed without due process and replaced with Gulenists.
Yet the Gulen-AKP relationship was eroded by incidents such as the 2010 Mavi Marmara raid, and by National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, a close Erdogan confidant, being called in for questioning by police officers close to the Gulen movement.
A corruption investigation in December 2013, which saw renowned businesspeople and senior bureaucrats close to the AKP arrested by Gulenist police officers, gave way to an all-out war between the government and the Hizmet movement.

Erdogan reacted furiously to the crackdown and claimed that those behind the investigations were trying to form a "state within a state", in an apparent reference to the Hizmet movement.
Erdogan calls on US to extradite cleric Gulen
From this point on, the AKP government was always open about its plans to eradicate Gulen and his followers from Turkish political life, as the MIT conducted several investigations into Gulen and his followers.
Today, Turkish officials say that the July coup attempt materialised because Gulenists were increasingly concerned that the government investigation into their illegal actions was coming to an end, and they would be arrested.
Gulen, on the other hand, denies any role in the coup and has even alleged that Erdogan orchestrated it himself "to build a dictatorship" - a claim the president, Turkish spy agencies and even the Turkish opposition have vehemently denied.
How did Turkey's National Intelligence Organisation miss the signs of the looming insurrection?
July's coup attempt gave rise to serious questions about Turkey's intelligence capabilities.
In the aftermath of the coup attempt, MIT officials admitted that they received the very first intelligence report about a possible attack on July 15, only hours before their own headquarters was under heavy artillery fire.
They also admitted that the undersecretary of the MIT tried to reach Erdogan to inform him about this initial report around 7pm local time, but failed to get him on the phone.
Why the undersecretary did not call Prime Minister Binali Yildirim after he failed to reach the president is another unanswered question about that night.
In a televised interview after the coup attempt, Yildirim said: "I asked the undersecretary of the MIT about this matter but I could not get a satisfactory answer."

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South Punjab News : Turkey detains 21 suspects over failed coup
Turkey detains 21 suspects over failed coup
Turkey witnessed the bloodiest coup attempt in its political history on July 15, 2016, when a section of the Turkish military launched a coordinated operation in several major cities to topple the government and unseat President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
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