12,800 police suspended; Kurdish TV raided
ANKARA (AP): AUTHORITIES ON Tuesday suspended some 12,800 police officers from duty over their suspected links to US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen as Turkey pressed ahead with its vast crackdown on a network it says is behind the country’s July 15 failed military coup.
Meanwhile, a pro-Kurdish television station said police raided its headquarters in Istanbul and forced it off the air following an order last week for it to be shut down.
Both moves came a day after Turkey announced it was extending by three more months a state of emergency it declared in the aftermath of the failed coup. The existing declaration has aroused fears that the government is using its emergency powers to clamp down on critics.
In a brief statement posted on its website Tuesday, the Turkish police headquarters said the suspended officers were allegedly “in cohesion with or connected to” Gulen’s movement. It said 2,523 of them were police chiefs.
The state of emergency, declared on July 20, allows the government to rule through decrees. Tens of thousands of people have been dismissed or suspended from government jobs in the military, police, judiciary and the education ministry since it was imposed.
Around 32,000 people allegedly connected to the failed takeover attempt have been arrested, including dozens of journalists employed by Gulen-linked news outlets.
Authorities have closed schools, charities, foundations and medical establishments associated with the movement and also appointed trustees to manage Gulenlinked businesses.