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Turkey suspends over 12,000 police in coup probe



Turkey on Tuesday suspended more than 12,000 police officers over alleged links to Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused of masterminding the failed July coup, in the latest move under the controversial state of emergency.

Meanwhile, a prominent pro-Kurdish television channel was raided and broadcasts cut under the emergency laws, over accusations of supporting Kurdish militants.

Of the 12,801 suspended from duty as part of the investigation into the coup attempt, 2,523 were police chiefs, the police headquarters said in a statement. In total, Turkey has suspended around 270,000 police officers.

The action was taken over suspected links to the Gulen movement which Turkey blames for the failed putsch on July 15 which tried to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from power.

A few days after the coup attempt, a three-month state of emergency came into force and was extended on Monday a further 90 days from October 19.

A Turkish official, who did not wish to be named, confirmed the suspension, adding that the individuals would continue to be paid two-thirds of their salary “pending further investigation”.

Gulen, an ally-turned-foe of Erdogan who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, strongly denies Ankara’s accusations.

Supporters of the Gulen movement, also known as Hizmet (service), insist it is a loose grouping of individuals committed to peace and helping people through education and charities.Punch