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Turkish police raid science council, many detained, in post-coup purge

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan addresses the audience during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Ankara

Turkish police raided the offices of the national science research council on Wednesday, broadcaster NTV said, widening an investigation into followers of the US-based cleric suspected of masterminding last month’s coup attempt.

Many people were detained in the raid on the offices of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (Tubitak) in the north-western province of Kocaeli, NTV said, without giving details.

Tubitak funds science research projects in universities and the private sector and employs more than 1,500 researchers, according to its website.

More than 60,000 people in the military, judiciary, civil service and education have been detained, suspended or placed under investigation following the July 15 coup attempt, prompting fears that President Tayyip Erdogan is using the events to crack down on dissent.

Turkey’s government says the coup attempt was orchestrated by followers of Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999. Gulen denies the charge and has condemned the coup.

More than 230 people, not including coup plotters, died and thousands were wounded as mutinous soldiers commandeered fighter jets, helicopters and tanks in the failed attempt to topple the government.

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