Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was reportedly offered $15 million to help forcibly remove Fethullah Gulen from the US and deliver him to Turkey.
Michael Flynn and his son discussed the alleged plot with Turkish representatives, NBC News and Wall Street Journal report.
The matter is said to be under scrutiny in the wider DoJ investigation of alleged Russian election meddling.
Michael Flynn resigned after misleading the White House about meeting an envoy.
The alleged plot to remove the Muslim cleric was first revealed in March 2017 by former CIA Director James Woolsey.
The Turkish government accuses Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, of being behind last year’s failed coup.
Fethullah Gulen is viewed as chief political rival to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has repeatedly called for his extradition from the US.
According to the Wall Street Journal, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is focusing on a meeting in mid-December between Michael Flynn and Turkish officials in New York.
Michael Flynn reportedly discussed having Fethullah Gulen transported on a private jet to the Turkish prison island of Imrali.
He was serving on the White House transition team during the reported meeting, which came a month before he joined the Trump administration.
Michael Flynn also met Turkish representatives in September 2016, according to James Woolsey, a board member for Flynn’s consultancy.
James Woolsey has previously told CNN that in September, “there was at least some strong suggestion by one or more of the Americans present at the meeting that we would be able, the United States would be able, through them, to be able to get hold of Gulen”.
NBC reported that federal investigators are also looking into whether Michael Flynn tried to push for the return of Fethullah Gulen to Turkey during his time as White House national security adviser.
A spokesman for Michael Flynn’s company has denied he discussed any illegal actions with the Turks.
Michael Flynn was the first aide in Donald Trump’s White House to resign, after only 23 days on the job.
The retired lieutenant general had admitted lying to VP Mike Pence about a meeting with the Russian ambassador in which the lifting of US sanctions was discussed.
Michael Flynn also failed to register as a lobbyist for the Turkish government while he was seeking White House security clearance.
In 2016, his consultancy Flynn Intel Group was paid $530,000 for lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government – work which required him to register as “a foreign agent”.
According to his lawyer , Michael Flynn did not register because he was working for a Turkish businessman, rather than a government official.
Investigators are also looking into the actions of his son, Michel Flynn Jr., who worked closely with him at Flynn Intel Group.
According to both publications, Michael Flynn and the meeting participants discussed a way to free Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, who is in a US jail over charges that he evaded US sanctions on Iran.
In its statement on October 8, the Turkish embassy in Washington said: “Recent events have forced the Turkish government to reassess the commitment of the government of the US to the security of the Turkish mission facilities and personnel.
“In order to minimize the number of the visitors to our diplomatic and consular missions in the US while this assessment proceeds, effective immediately we have suspended all visa services regarding the US citizens at our diplomatic and consular missions in the US.
“This measure will apply to sticker visas as well as e-visas and border visas.”
The Turkish’s embassy statement is virtually the same as the earlier American one, with only country names being replaced.
The American mission said that “all non-immigrant visa services at all US diplomatic facilities in Turkey” had been suspended.
Non-immigrant visas are issued to those travelling to the US for tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work or study.
Those seeking citizenship or permanent residency apply for US immigrant visas.
Turkey has for months been pressing the US to extradite Fethullah Gulen over his alleged role in the coup attempt in July 2016.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses Fethullah Gulen of instigating the unrest – a charge the cleric denies.
In the aftermath of the coup attempt, which was led by military officers, 40,000 people were arrested and 120,000 sacked or suspended.
Seventeen employees of Turkish opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet are about to go on trial on charges of aiding a terrorist organization.
If found guilty, their sentence could be up to 43 years in jail.
A dozen of Cumhuriyet‘s journalists and managers are behind bars in pre-trial detention. Ten of them have been imprisoned for almost nine months.
On July 15, Turkey marked the first anniversary of a failed coup. There were massive commemorations held by thousands of jubilant people, hailing the day as the triumph of democracy.
However, critics argue that day – and the introduction of the state of emergency soon after – were actually the beginning of a massive crackdown, with more than 50,000 people arrested in the last year.
Image source Wikimedia
Press freedom groups say Turkish media has been particularly hard hit during this period, as about 150 media outlets have been shut down.
Turkey is currently listed as the country with the biggest number of imprisoned journalists. Journalism organizations say more than 150 journalists are behind bars, most of them accused of terror charges.
Can Dundar, the previous editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet newspaper, is the number one suspect in the case starting on July 24.
He was give a three-month jail term last year for espionage in another case but was released on bail. He now lives in exile in Germany.
He too gives the figure of imprisoned journalists as more than 150.
In the indictment against Cumhuriyet, there are accusations such as “changing the paper’s editorial policy”, preparing “violent and divisive news” and “interviewing leaders of terrorist organizations”.
“This is an oddity, it is absurd,” says defense lawyer Adil Demirci.
“This is obviously a political case. They are targeting Cumhuriyet because it is an opposition paper.”
The head of media organization PEN Turkey, Zeynep Oral, believes the state of press freedom in the country is the worst it has been for decades.
“You never know what will happen tomorrow,” she says.
“Anybody can put anybody into jail these days. But even if a single journalist is behind bars for no reason, no-one will ever be free in this country.”
Journalists and press freedom activists all over the world will be watching the Cumhuriyet trial very closely. The hearings are expected to last all week.
Kicking off a series of events that will extend into dawn today, PM Binali Yildirim told a special session of parliament that July 15, 2016, was a “second War of Independence”, following the conflict that led to the creation of the modern state in the 1920s.
Image source Wikimedia
“It has been exactly one year since Turkey’s darkest and longest night was transformed into a bright day, since an enemy occupation turned into the people’s legend,” Binali Yildirim said.
However, head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party Kemal Kilicdaroglu condemned the government’s actions since the coup.
He said: “This parliament, which withstood bombs, has been rendered obsolete and its authority removed. In the past year, justice has been destroyed. Instead of rapid normalization, a permanent state of emergency has been implemented.”
Recep Tayyip Erdogan flew from the parliamentary session to Istanbul, in a plane accompanied by air force jets.
The president will join the huge crowds on the bridge over the Bosphorus where civilians had confronted pro-coup soldiers last year. It has been renamed the Bridge of the Martyrs of July 15 and the president will unveil a “martyrs’ memorial” there.
Istanbul is awash with giant anniversary billboards, with anti-coup slogans strung between the minarets of mosques.
President Erdogan will later return to Ankara to address parliament at midnight, the exact time last year it was attacked by coup plotters.
He will unveil a monument to the coup’s victims at his palace in the capital at dawn.
On July 15, 2016, the coup plotters, armed with tanks, warplanes and helicopters, declared that they had taken over on state media, and bombed parliament and other key locations.
The Turkish authorities accused a movement loyal to the Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, of organizing the plot.
Fethullah Gulen, who remains in the United States, denies any involvement.
Washington has so far resisted calls from the Turkish authorities to extradite him.
Critics say President Erdogan is using the purges to stifle political dissent, and last week hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Istanbul at the end of a 450km (280-mile) “justice” march against the government.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the marchers of supporting terrorism.
On July 14, the government continued its dismissal of state employees, sacking another 7,395 for alleged links to what it calls terrorist groups.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would approve the return of the death penalty if it was backed by parliament and the public, he said during a huge rally in Istanbul.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan was speaking to a crowd of at least a million who had gathered in Istanbul, Turkey’s biggest city.
The rally followed last month’s failed military coup.
President Erdogan also said the state would be cleansed of all supporters of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Fethullah Gulen is blamed by the Turkish government for the attempted uprising. He denies any involvement.
Religious figures and leaders of two of Turkey’s three opposition parties attended the rally. The Kurdish party was not invited.
More than 270 people died in events surrounding the July 15 coup attempt, which triggered a government crackdown.
Thousands of alleged supporters of Fethullah Gulen have been detained or dismissed from government jobs.
Western nations have been critical of the government’s response to the coup. The EU – which Turkey has applied to join – refuses to accept capital punishment in member states.
The parade ground, built to hold more than a million people, was overflowing, with streets of surrounding neighborhoods clogged by crowds, Reuters news agency reports.
According to government sources, five million people had attended, with the event broadcast live on public screens at smaller rallies across Turkey’s provinces.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the rally: “It is the Turkish parliament that will decide on the death penalty… I declare it in advance, I will approve the decision made by the parliament.
“They say there is no death penalty in the EU… Well, the US has it; Japan has it; China has it; most of the world has it. So they are allowed to have it. We used to have it until 1984. Sovereignty belongs to the people, so if the people make this decision I am sure the political parties will comply.”
He then railed against Fethullah Gulen’s movement, hinting of further hard-line measures to come: “July 15 showed our friends that this country isn’t just strong against political, economic and diplomatic attacks, but against military sabotage as well. It showed that it will not fall, it will not be derailed.
“Of course we have to uncover all members of this organization and eradicate them within the framework of the law, but if we content ourselves with just that, then we as a state and a nation will leave weak our defense against similar viruses.”
The “Democracy and Martyrs’ Rally” was the climax of three weeks of nightly demonstrations by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s supporters around the country.
Speaking ahead of President Erdogan, PM Binali Yildirim told the rally that Fethullah Gulen would be brought to Turkey and made to pay the price for the coup attempt.
“Let all of you know, the leader of this terrorist group will come to Turkey and pay for what he did,” Binali Yildirim said.
In a rare address to a public rally, the head of Turkey’s armed forces, Hulusi Akar, said “traitors” would be punished in the harshest way, and thanked civilians for their role in defeating the uprising.
The crackdown in Turkey has seen tens of thousands of public sector workers suspended or dismissed, with many having their passports cancelled. There has also been a massive reshuffle of the military.
About 18,000 people have been detained or arrested.
Local branches of the AK Party have been told to begin a purge of suspected Gulenists in their ranks.
Fethullah Gulen was a close ally of Recep Tayyip Erdogan until a bitter split between his movement and the party of the president three years ago.
Turkey has listed Fethullah Gulen’s movement as a terrorist organization.
All but one of the soldiers who are accused of trying to seize Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during last month’s failed coup have been captured.
Special forces arrested another 11 soldiers overnight after a two-week manhunt near Marmaris.
President Erdogan was on holiday at the south-western resort on the night of the coup, but fled before his hotel was raided.
Special forces located the fugitives in a forested area, reports say.
Since the failed putsch Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cracked down on those suspected of being linked to the coup.
Tens of thousands of people have been detained or dismissed or suspended from roles in the military, judiciary, civil service and education.
Over the weekend the president announced a sweeping reform of Turkey’s armed forces to bring them under full civilian control.
Turkish authorities accuse US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen of being behind the coup attempt, something he denies.
The rebel soldiers were spotted by villagers hunting boar in the forested area near Marmaris. Gunfire was exchanged during the operation but no casualties were reported.
The soldiers arrested in total last night include Major Sukru Seymen, the alleged commander, according to Anadolu news agency.
More than 20 other members of the military squad suspected of involvement had already been remanded in custody to face trial, the agency reports.
During the attempted coup on July 15 Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke live on TV via his mobile phone. He said he had narrowly escaped an attempt on his life.
According to official reports, the president’s security team was tipped off that a squad of soldiers was heading to his hotel and moved him.
Meanwhile, Turkey has summoned Germany’s charge d’affaires to the foreign ministry in Ankara to explain why President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was prevented from addressing a rally in Cologne via a video-link on July 31.
At least 30,000 rallied in Cologne in support of the Turkish president.
The German authorities said such messages could stoke political tensions among the three million ethnic Turks living in Germany.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced he will put the spy agency and the military chief of staff under his own control.
He also said he wants to close the nation’s military academies.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the proposals would be brought before parliament.
The new measures are the latest in a large-scale crackdown launched after the failed coup on July 15.
Turkish authorities say US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind the army-led coup in which at least 246 people died. He denies the allegation.
President Recep Erdogan told Turkey’s A Haber television on July 30: “We are going to introduce a small constitutional package which, if approved, will bring the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and chief of staff under the control of the presidency.”
“Military schools will be shut down… we will establish a national defense university,” he added.
President Erdogan said that the size of the gendarmerie would be cut, but its weaponry would be increased.
The president needs a two-thirds majority for the proposals to be adopted and therefore will have to secure support from opposition parties.
Turkey announced a military reshuffle on July 28, including the dishonorable discharge of 1,700 military servicemen. About 40% of generals and admirals have been discharged since the coup.
More than 66,000 public sector workers have been dismissed from their posts and 50,000 passports cancelled, while the labor ministry is investigating 1,300 of its staff.
The government has shut 142 media outlets and detained several journalists.
A three-month state of emergency has also been declared across Turkey.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced he is withdrawing all lawsuits against people charged with insulting him.
He said he was inspired by the feelings of unity in the wake of the recent failed coup.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan also stepped up his attacks on nations criticizing his crackdown in the wake of the coup attempt, telling them to “mind your own business”.
The president earlier blasted General Joseph Votel, head of US Central Command, saying he was “on the side of the coup plotters”.
Gen. Joseph Votel had said in remarks on July 28 that the jailing of some military leaders could damage Turkish-American military co-operation.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the presidential palace: “I am going to withdraw all the cases regarding the disrespectful insults made against me.”
He said it was a one-off gesture of goodwill.
Earlier this year, Turkish authorities said some 2,000 people were facing such prosecutions.
Recep Erdogan was also defiant in the face of criticism over his crackdown, which the interior ministry said on July 29 had seen 18,000 detentions.
He said: “Some people give us advice. They say they are worried. Mind your own business! Look at your own deeds.
“Not a single person has come to give condolences either from the European Union… or from the West… Those countries or leaders who are not worried about Turkey’s democracy, the lives of our people, its future – while being so worried about the fate of the putschists – cannot be our friends.”
Speaking at the same event, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkey had now succeeded in removing all elements linked to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen from the military.
Turkey blames Fethullah Gulen for orchestrating the coup attempt, something he denies.
On July 29, President Recep Erdogan had told Gen. Joseph Votel to “know your place”, adding: “You are taking the side of coup plotters instead of thanking this state for defeating the coup attempt.”
Gen. Joseph Votel had said one day before: “We have certainly had relationships with a lot of Turkish leaders – military leaders in particular. I am concerned about what the impact is on those relationships as we continue.”
The next day, replying after President Recep Erdogan’s comments, Gen. Joseph Votel said any reports that he was involved in the coup were “unfortunate and completely inaccurate”.
Gen. Joseph Votel added that Turkey had been an “extraordinary and vital partner” for many years and he was looking forward to their partnership in the fight against self-styled Islamic State.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had also said on July 28 that Turkey’s crackdown was disrupting Turkish-American military co-operation in fighting ISIS.
Turkey announced a military reshuffle on July 28, including the dishonorable discharge of 1,700 military servicemen. About 40% of generals and admirals have been discharged since the coup.
More than 66,000 Turkish public sector workers have been dismissed from their posts and 50,000 passports cancelled, while the labor ministry is investigating 1,300 of its staff.
Turkey has also shut 142 media outlets and detained several journalists.
Tens of thousands of Turks have joined a pro-democracy rally in Istanbul, condemning Turkey’s failed coup and defending the republic.
The rally was organized by the opposition party CHP (Republican People’s Party) but was backed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AK party (Justice and Development Party), in a rare show of unity.
CHP’s leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said “democracy won!” but he also warned against the dangers of authoritarianism.
One banner read: “No to the coup, no to dictatorship”.
Many of the CHP supporters gathered in Taksim Square waved flags with a picture of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.
Despite Turkey’s political divisions, Istanbul’s mayor and other AK party leaders joined the opposition demonstrators.
Posters at the rally proclaimed “No to coups”.
In his speech, CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said that amid the turmoil, “the parliament stood proudly, Turkey stood proudly, lawmakers stood proudly, people in this square have stood proudly, and democracy won!”
However, Kemal Kilicdaroglu also stressed the importance of a free press and freedom of assembly, as well as the dangers of dictatorship and authoritarianism.
The CHP leader said: “The state cannot be governed by grudge, anger and prejudice. Those responsible for the coup should be tried lawfully, with the understanding of abiding by the rule of law.”
In a rare move, pro-government TV channels broadcast the speech live.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a widespread crackdown following the attempted coup, arresting thousands of service personnel and sacking or suspending thousands of judges, government officials, school teachers and university heads.
Human Rights group Amnesty International said it had received credible evidence of detainees being subjected to beatings and torture, including rape, since the coup attempt.
Amnesty’s Europe director John Dalhuisen in a statement: “It is absolutely imperative that the Turkish authorities halt these abhorrent practices and allow international monitors to visit all these detainees in the places they are being held.”
A state of emergency was declared on July 20, allowing the president and cabinet to bypass parliament when drafting new laws and to restrict or suspend rights and freedoms.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also extended the period in which suspects can be detained without charge to 30 days.
Ankara’s chief prosecutor Harun Kodalak has been reported by Turkish media as saying that 1,200 soldiers detained in the wake of the coup have now been released.
Those released were said to be low-ranking soldiers. Thousands of other service personnel, including more than 100 generals and admirals, remain in detention.
On July 23, Turkey’s presidential guard regiment was disbanded after nearly 300 of its members were detained following the failed coup.
Turkey’s presidential guard regiment will be dissolved after nearly 300 of its members were detained following last week’s attempted coup.
PM Binali Yildirim told A Haber TV channel that there was “no need” for the regiment.
Earlier, Turkey detained Muhammet Sait Gulen – a nephew of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen who, it says, was behind the uprising.
Fethullah Gulen strongly denies the claim.
A key aide of Fethullah Gulen has also been arrested, a presidency official said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a widespread crackdown following the attempted coup, arresting thousands of service personnel and sacking or suspending thousands of government officials, school teachers and university heads.
A state of emergency was declared on July 21, allowing the president and cabinet to bypass parliament when drafting new laws and to restrict or suspend rights and freedoms.
PM Binali Yildirim told the A Haber TV channel: “There will no longer be a presidential guard, there is no purpose, there is no need.”
The presidential guard numbers up to 2,500 soldiers but at least 283 were detained after the uprising.
Fethullah Gulen, a former ally of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has called on the US government to block Turkey’s attempts to extradite him.
Muhammet Sait Gulen was detained in the north-eastern city of Erzurum to be taken to the capital Ankara for questioning, the Anadolu news agency says.
A presidential official quoted by Reuters said Halis Hanci, described as Fethullah Gulen’s right-hand man, had been “captured”.
According to the official, Halis Hanci had apparently entered Turkey two days before the coup attempt.
On July 23, Recep Erdogan extended the period in which suspects can be detained without charge to 30 days.
A statement carried by state media also ordered the closure of more than 1,000 private schools and more than 1,200 associations.
Also on July 23, Ankara’s chief prosecutor Harun Kodalak was reported by Turkish media as saying that 1,200 soldiers detained in the wake of the coup had been released.
Those freed were said to be low-ranking soldiers. Thousands of other service personnel, including more than 100 generals and admirals, remain in detention.
Recep Erdogan’s tough measures have been criticized by human rights groups, as well as by France, Germany and senior EU officials.
He told France 24 television on July 23 the EU was “biased and prejudiced” against Turkey.
Amnesty International has said Recep Tayyip Erdogan is going “well beyond what might be considered a legitimate response to the coup attempt”.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a state of emergency for three months following the failed army coup in Turkey.
The state of emergency allows the president and cabinet to bypass parliament when drafting new laws and to restrict or suspend rights and freedoms.
Speaking at the presidential palace in Ankara, President Erdogan vowed that “all the viruses within the armed forces will be cleansed”.
Thousands of people have been arrested or sacked since the failed coup.
More than 600 schools have also been closed and thousands of state workers sacked in a crackdown by the president.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after announcing the state of emergency: “This measure is in no way against democracy, the law and freedoms.”
The government will be allowed to rule by decree, with the powers of regional governors increased.
A re-organization of the police, intelligence services and the command structure of the armed forces is also expected.
Critics of President Erdogan have accused him of consolidating power on a scale largely unprecedented since Turkey’s first democratic elections in 1946 and of using the emergency to acquire more power for the presidency.
They say the president normally would need to alter the constitution to create an executive presidency and win back some of the powers he relinquished when his tenure as prime minister ended in 2014.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised those who were killed fighting against the coup as “martyrs”. Some 246 people were killed resisting the attempted coup, according to the government.
He was speaking after holding meetings of Turkey’s national security council and the cabinet in the capital.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier responded to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s speech by urging the Turkish government to maintain both the rule of law and a sense of proportionality in its response to the coup attempt.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed the coup attempt on US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former ally whose followers run a worldwide network of schools.
He has called for Fethullah Gulen to be extradited to Turkey, but Secretary of State John Kerry said on July 20 that Turkey must provide hard evidence the cleric was behind the coup attempt for any extradition to take place.
Earlier, Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned of further arrests and suspensions to come as Turkish authorities continued to pursue those they believed responsible for the thwarted putsch.
Over 50,000 people have been detained, fired or suspended from their jobs by Turkey’s government in the wake of last week’s failed coup.
The purge of those deemed disloyal to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan widened on July 19 to include teachers, university deans and the media.
According to the government, they are allied to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who denies claims he directed the uprising.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Fethullah Gulen led a “terrorist organization”.
“We will dig them up by their roots,” the prime minister told parliament.
Turkey is pressing the US to extradite Fethullah Gulen and the issue was raised during a phone call between President Barack Obama and President Erdogan on July 19, the White House said.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said a decision on whether or not to extradite would be made under a treaty between the two countries.
A Turkish government spokesman suggested that the US should be able to extradite Fethullah Gulen “on grounds of suspicion” rather than requiring facts of the case against him.
“There is very strong suspicion for his [Fethullah Gulen’s] involvement in this coup attempt. So this is sufficient grounds,” said spokesman Ibrahim Kalin.
For his part, the preacher says claims he was behind the coup attempt are “ridiculous”.
“I urge the US government to reject any effort to abuse the extradition process to carry out political vendettas,” Fethullah Gulen said in a statement.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to chair meetings of his national security council and cabinet in the capital, Ankara, on July 20, after returning to the city for the first time since the attempted coup.
The meeting will be Erdogan’s first chance since the coup attempt to sit and talk in person with all key members of the government and armed forces.
His task is to re-impose stability amid the turmoil and to reassure the country and Turkey’s allies abroad that he is not embarking on a witch-hunt against his many critics.
The Pentagon said that talks also took place on July 19 between Defense Secretary Ash Carter and his Turkish counterpart, regarding the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey.
The base is used by the US-led coalition fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Meanwhile, the Turkish government crackdown widened on July 19 to include the education sector and government departments.
According to Turkish media,15,200 teachers and other education staff had been sacked; 1,577 university deans were ordered to resign; 8,777 interior ministry workers were dismissed; 1,500 staff in the finance ministry had been fired; 257 people working in the prime minister’s office were sacked.
Turkish media regulation body also revoked the licenses of 24 radio and TV channels accused of links to Fethullah Gulen.
The news came on top of the arrests of more than 6,000 military personal and the sackings of nearly 9,000 police officers. About 3,000 judges have also been suspended.
The removal of thousands of officials has alarmed international observers, with the UN urging Turkey to uphold the rule of law and defend human rights.
A senior German official said on July 19 that “a deep split” had opened in Turkey, and he feared the divisions would cause unrest among Germany’s large Turkish community.
“The danger of an escalation in violence between Erdogan supporters and opponents has also risen in Germany,” Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.
President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz has accused Turkey of carrying out “revenge” against its opponents and critics.
He also said a debate around restoring the death penalty was “deeply worrying”. The EU has warned such a move would end talks over Turkey joining the bloc.
According to official figures, last week’s coup attempt left 232 people dead and 1,541 wounded.
Up to 8,000 police officers have been suspended in Turkey, reportedly on suspicion of having links to the failed coup attempt at the weekend, officials say.
Some 6,000 members of the judiciary and military, including generals, have been detained in connection with the coup.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to purge state bodies of the “virus” that caused the revolt.
The EU’s foreign policy chief says the rule of law in Turkey needs protection.
Photo Getty Images
The government claims cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind the plot.
Fethullah Gulen lives in the US and strongly denies any involvement.
Turkish state media reported on July 18 that more than 100 generals and admirals had been detained in raids across the country.
Eight Turkish military officers who fled to Greece by helicopter are appearing in court in the Greek border city of Alexandropouli charged with entering the country illegally.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a crowd on July 17 that Turkey would consider reinstating the death penalty.
Capital punishment was abolished in 2004 as part of Turkey’s bid to join the EU. Nobody has been executed in the country since 1984.
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, was speaking ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers and Secretary of State John Kerry in Brussels, at which the events in Turkey are likely to be high on the agenda.
Federica Mogherini said there would be no excuse for any steps that would take Turkey away from the rule of law and that the foreign ministers would be sending a “strong message” on that.
Turkey’s PM Binali Yildirim has announced that some 2,839 soldiers, including high-ranking officers, have been arrested after an attempted coup that is now over.
At least 161 civilians have been killed and other 1,440 wounded during clashes.
Those held include two army generals, Turkish media say.
Explosions and firing were heard in key cities on Friday night, July 15, and thousands heeded a call by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to rise up against the coup-plotters.
It is unclear who was behind the coup.
The authorities also said 104 suspected coup-plotters had also been killed.
Some 2,745 Turkish judges have also been dismissed in the wake of the coup, state media say.
They are reported to include a member of Turkey’s top court.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed a “parallel structure” – a reference to Fethullah Gulen, a powerful but reclusive US-based Muslim cleric whom he accuses of fomenting unrest.
Fethullah Gulen has rejected any suggestion of links to what happened, saying he condemned “in the strongest terms, the attempted military coup in Turkey”.
The Turkish government wants Fethullah Gulen’s extradition.
Events began on July 15 as tanks took up positions on two of the bridges over the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, blocking traffic. Troops were seen on the streets and low-flying military jets were filmed over Ankara.
Shortly after, an army faction issued a statement that a “peace council” was running the country, and it had launched the coup “to ensure and restore constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms”.
President Recep Tyyip Erdogan, then in the south-west resort of Marmaris, made a TV address via his mobile phone, urging people to take to the streets to oppose the uprising.
After flying to Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “What is being perpetrated is a treason and a rebellion. They will pay a heavy price.”
During the violence, the Turkish parliament and presidential buildings in Ankara were attacked. Gunfire was also heard outside Istanbul police headquarters and tanks were said to be stationed outside Istanbul airport.
Broadcaster CNN Turk was temporarily taken off air after soldiers entered the building and tried to take it over. CNN Turk later tweeted a photo of soldiers being arrested by police.
There were reports of fierce clashes in Taksim Square in central Istanbul, and gunfire and explosions were heard near the square. One of the helicopters being flown by rebels was reportedly shot down by government troops in Ankara.
A group of Turkish army has announced it has taken control of the country, with bridges closed in Istanbul and aircraft flying low over Ankara.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim earlier denounced an “illegal action” by a military “group”, stressing it was not a coup. He said that the government remained in charge.
Traffic has been stopped from crossing both the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges in Istanbul.
There are reports of gunshots in the capital Ankara.
Soldiers were inside buildings of the Turkish state broadcaster in Ankara.
Gunfire was also heard outside Istanbul police headquarter and tanks are said to be stationed outside Istanbul airport. All flights are canceled, reports say.
CNN Turk reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was “safe” but did not elaborate.
A statement from the military group read out on NTV television said: “The power in the country has been seized in its entirety.”
Who represents the group remains uncertain.
A Turkish presidential source told Reuters that the statement was not authorized by the military command.
PM Binali Yildirim told NTV by telephone: “We are working on the possibility of an attempt. We will not allow this attempt. “
“Those who are in this illegal act will pay the highest price,” he added, saying it would not be correct to describe the move as a “coup”.
The prime minister said: “There was an illegal act by a group within the military that was acting out of the chain of military command. Our people should know that we will not allow any activity that would harm democracy.”
There are reports Turkey’s top general has been taken hostage at the military headquarter.
Visiting Moscow, Secretary of State John Kerry said he hoped for peace and “continuity” in Turkey.
Turkey ex-president, General Kenan Evren, has died on May 9 at the age of 97.
On September 12, 1980, General Kenan Evren launched a coup that overthrew the government. He went on to serve as president until 1989.
Kenan Evren was put on trial in his 90s and was handed a life sentence for the coup in 2014.
Some 600,000 people were detained and 50 executed by hanging in the coup. All political parties were banned, with left-wing activists heavily targeted.
Kenan Evren died at a hospital in Ankara.
He had been in ill health since 2012 and was unable to appear in court when convicted.
The 1980 coup was the last and bloodiest of Turkey’s coups and came to symbolise the military’s long-standing dominance over Turkish politics.
Gen. Kenan Evren believed that his actions saved the country from descending into anarchy after deadly fighting between political extremists.
“Should we feed them in prison for years instead of hanging them?” he said in a speech in 1984, defending the decision to execute political activists.
Despite allegations of deaths and torture it appeared unlikely that the former president would ever face trial.
However, a constitutional clause granting the general immunity from prosecution was overturned after a referendum in 2010, as part of then PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s attempts to rein in the power of the army.
In 2014, a Turkish court convicted Kenan Evren of crimes against the state for setting the stage for army intervention and conducting the coup.
Kenan Evren’s career’s begin as an officer from a military academy, was made a general and rose to become chief of the general staff.
During the years leading up to the 1980 coup, there was widespread political violence on the streets involving far-right and far-left activists, which the military said the government was incapable of controlling.
After the coup, parliament was dissolved and Kenan Evren ruled the country as the head of the National Security Council.
The council oversaw the drawing up of a new constitution, which was approved by a referendum and made Kenan Evren president for a seven-year term.
Parliamentary elections were held during this time and Turkey applied to join the European Economic Community, the precursor to the European Union.
During Kenan Evren’s retirement two plots to assassinate him were thwarted and he took up painting.
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