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Turkey detains 55 military, intelligence personnel on coup charges

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Turkey detained 55 military and intelligence agency personnel on Wednesday over suspected links to the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of orchestrating a failed coup in July, media reports said.

In the latest of a series of raids targeting individuals suspected of connections to the coup attempt, police carried out operations in 31 provinces after prosecutors issued detention warrants for a total of 101 suspects, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

On July 15 a rogue faction within the military staged an attempted coup in which more than 240 people were killed. Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, denies government accusations that he or the movement he inspired was behind the action.

Turkey subsequently declared a three-month state of emergency which it extended by another three months this week, and the head of Turkey’s Constitutional Court stressed the importance of returning to a state of normalcy.

“Naturally, the aim is to eliminate the threat against the democratic constitutional order and basic rights and freedoms as soon as possible, so as to return to a normal state,” court chairman Zühtü Arslan said on Wednesday.

Turkey has already sacked or suspended more than 100,000 civil servants, teachers, judges, prosecutors and others. Some 32,000 people, including soldiers and journalists, have been formally arrested.

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