Turkey issues arrest warrant for 21 over failed coup in 2016


Ankara, Sep 28 : Turkish prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 21 suspects over their alleged links to a network accused of orchestrating a coup attempt in 2016, a local news agency reported. The public prosecutor in the western city of Izmir issued an arrest warrant for 16, while the capital Ankara's prosecutor five, all over their suspected membership of the Gulen movement accused by the Turkish government of infiltrating into the state bureaucracy and attempting the coup on July 15, 2016. The 16 suspects wanted by Izmir's prosecutor, 13 of them already detained in operations covering six provinces, were accused of infiltrating into the Turkish Armed Forces. They were four soldiers -- one from the Land Forces, two from the Air Force, one from the Gendarmerie General Command, and 12 military school students who were dismissed after the coup attempt. Meanwhile, the five suspects were wanted by Ankara's prosecutor for being part of the Gulen movement's "establishment" in the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Xinhua news agency reported. A statement from the prosecutor's office said they were two Ministry employees dismissed earlier, two on active duty and one who failed to pass the Ministry exam. The movement, which mainly runs schools worldwide, is a community of people named after Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen regarded by his followers as their spiritual leader. Turkey accuses US-based Gulen of masterminding the 2016 coup, in which at least 250 people were killed. Ankara requests the extradition of Gulen, but Washington declined, citing that Ankara has not presented sufficient evidence against the self-exiled Islamic cleric. /IANS


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