Cyprus Mail

Turkey says detains more than 1,000 in latest anti-terror raids

File photo: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends an interview with Reuters at the Presidential Palace in Ankara

Turkish authorities detained 1,098 people over the last week for suspected links to militant groups or last year’s failed coup attempt, the interior ministry said on Monday.

In a statement, the ministry said 831 of those were detained for suspected ties to the US based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for orchestrating an attempted coup in July. Gulen denies any involvement.

It said another 213 of those were suspected of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has carried out a three-decade insurgency against the government and is considered a terrorist organisation by the United States, Turkey and Europe.

Forty-six people were detained over alleged links to Islamic State, while 8 more were held for suspected ties to “leftist terrorist groups”, the ministry said.

Following the July 15 coup, Turkey has arrested some 50,000 people and sacked or suspended more than 150,000 in the military, civil service and private sector as part of a sweeping crackdown that has worried rights groups and some Western nations.

The Turkish government, however, has said the purges were justified by the gravity of the threats it was facing.

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