Turkish prosecutors investigating the military and justice ministry ordered the arrest of 228 people on Tuesday over suspected links to the network that government claims were behind the 2016 coup attempt, state-owned media reported. The 2016 coup, which resulted in the death of 250 people was reportedly an attempt against Turkish state institutions, including the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
In its latest move, the prosecutors have ordered the arrest of 157 officials of the Turkish Armed Forces. Out of the which, 101 are currently serving officials, a news agency reported. The investigating operation was reportedly based in the western province of Izmir and expanded across 43 Turkish provinces. Added to that, they have also ordered the arrest of 71 people as part of the investigation targetting alleged Gulen supporters in the Justice ministry. Out of the total, 33 are serving the ministry currently, the news agency reported.
Following the failed coup, around 80,000 people have been jailed pending trial. Apart from that nearly 1,50,000 civil servants, military personnel and others have been dismissed from their jobs. According to media reports, there has also been a sustained crackdown on the followers of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen who is accused of instigating the coup. On the other hand, Gulen had denied the claims and has condemned the coup.
Many soldiers have denied their participation in the coup saying that they were told that they were participating in regular military exercises, international media reported. The Turkish president who was vacationing when the putsch happened has reportedly said that it was a failed attempt of dragging Turkey into darkness. On the other hand, a faction of the army who was involved in the coup claimed that it was an attempt to protect democracy from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
(With inputs from Agencies)