November 22, 2017
A banner depicting US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen on a street in in Novi Pazar, Serbia on Oct 11, 2017. The banner reads, “His turn will come one day”.PHOTO: REUTERS
ISTANBUL – Turkish authorities on Monday (Nov 20) issued arrest warrants for 107 teachers for suspected ties to the US-based cleric Ankara blames for orchestrating last year’s failed coup, the Dogan news agency said.
Fifty-one of the teachers were detained in Ankara after the local prosecutor issued the warrants, Dogan said, adding that operations continued to round-up the remaining teachers.
The teachers were previously suspended from their jobs as part of the ongoing crackdown that followed the attempted coup in July 2016, it said.
Turkey blames Mr Fethullah Gulen, a cleric who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, for last year’s failed coup. Mr Gulen has denied any involvement and denounced the coup.
More than 50,000 people have been jailed pending trial in the crackdown, while 150,000 people, including military personnel, teachers and public servants, have been sacked or suspended from their jobs.
The government dismisses rights groups’ concerns about the crackdown, saying only such a purge could neutralise the threat represented by Mr Gulen’s network, which it says infiltrated the judiciary, army, schools and other institutions. – REUTERS (Published – November 20, 2017)