Turkey ordered the detention of 295 serving military personnel on Friday, the prosecutor’s office said, accusing them of links to the network of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, who Ankara says orchestrated a 2016 attempted coup, Reuters reported.
Those facing detention included three colonels, eight majors and 10 lieutenants, with around half of the suspects in the army and the remainder in other military forces, the statement said.
The prosecutor’s office said police launched simultaneous arrest operations at 1:00 a.m. under an investigation into pay phone calls between suspected Gülen members. It was not clear how many suspects have been detained so far.
Two hundred forty-nine people were killed in the failed putsch, in which Gülen, a former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has denied involvement. Gülen has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999.
More than 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial since the coup, and widespread arrests are still routine. Authorities have suspended or sacked 150,000 civil servants and military personnel.
Turkey’s Western allies have criticized the crackdown, with Erdoğan’s critics accusing him of using the putsch as a pretext to quash dissent. Turkish authorities say the measures are necessary to combat threats to national security.