Τετάρτη, 22 Φεβρουαρίου 2017

Ankara detains nearly 1,600 for alleged links to militants

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Nearly 1,600 people have been detained in Turkey over the last week for suspected links to militant groups launching terror attacks in the country.
In a statement on Monday, the Turkish Interior Ministry said that 1,589 people had been apprehended for questioning over alleged links to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group and the militants with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Among the detainees, a total of 1,067 people were suspected of links to the PKK, 501 had alleged ties to the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for orchestrating an attempted coup last July, and another 21 people over connection with Daesh.
The ministry said that 125 of those detained were taken into custody, adding that 57 of them were charged with links to the PKK, 63 to Gulen and five to Daesh.
Turkey has declared the PKK a terrorist organization and has banned it. The militant group has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.
A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.
Over the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out operations against the PKK positions in the country’s troubled southeastern border region as well as in northern Iraq and neighboring Syria.
Ankara is also grappling with the consequences of a coup attempt back in July 15, 2016, when a faction of Turkish armed forces attacked government buildings using tanks and helicopters, in an attempt to seize power from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ankara has so far dismissed or suspended tens of thousands of people from the civil service, judiciary, police and courts over their suspected links to Gulen. The cleric has condemned the coup attempt and denied any involvement in it.
Turkish army kills 34 PKK militants in northern Iraq
In another development on Monday, Turkish warplanes carried out airstrikes against the PKK in northern Iraq, killing 34 militants in two separate bombardments.

Turkey’s military said in a statement that the strikes had targeted PKK positions in the Zap region of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region shortly after midnight and before noon.
More than 40,000 people have been killed during the three-decade conflict between Turkey and the autonomy-seeking militant group.
Suspects in Erdogan assassination attempt go on trial
Meanwhile, Turkey put on trial 50 suspects accused of plotting to assassinate the Turkish president at a luxury Aegean hotel on the night of the failed putsch.
The Monday trial was held under the highest security measures in southern Turkey for 47 people -- 37 of them former military personnel -- charged with attempting to kill the president, who was holidaying at a hotel in the Aegean resort of Marmaris with his family at the time.
Erdogan had left the hotel shortly before it was stormed.
The defendants are accused of attacking the hotel and killing two policemen guarding Erdogan. Three of the suspects are still at large and are being tried in absentia.

The suspects are expected to face life sentences on a series of charges ranging from attempted assassination to overthrow of the constitutional order and crimes against the state during the coup attempt.

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