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Turkey shakes up military as post-coup crackdown widens

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who survived the biggest threat to his 13-year domination of the country when supporters countered the plotters on the streets, has blamed the attempted overthrow on US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen.

By: AFP | Ankara | Published: July 28, 2016 1:48 pm
Turkey coup, Turkey, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Binali Yildirim, Turkey president, Recep tayiip Erdogan, Erdogan, Turkey president Erdogan, NATO, Nato, US, Turkey military, turkey news, world news The military has insisted that only a tiny proportion of the total armed forces took part in the coup.

Turkey’s premier meets top military commanders on Thursday over one of the most radical shake-ups in the armed forces’ history after a failed coup, which has already seen 149 generals dishonourably discharged.

The hastily convened meeting of the Supreme Military Council (YAS) in Ankara will bring together Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and the land, sea and air force commanders, along with other top figures untarnished by the attempted power grab.

The gathering comes a day after the government dramatically stepped up its post-coup crackdown, announcing mass military dismissals and closing down dozens of media outlets.

Eighty-seven land army generals, 30 air force generals, and 32 admirals — a total of 149 — were dishonourably discharged over their complicity in the July 15 putsch bid, a Turkish official said, confirming a government decree.

In addition, 1,099 officers and 436 junior officers have also received a dishonourable discharge, the decree added.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who survived the biggest threat to his 13-year domination of the country when supporters countered the plotters on the streets, has blamed the attempted overthrow on US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen.

The authorities have since launched a relentless campaign to eradicate Gulen’s influence from Turkish institutions in a clampdown that has shaken every aspect of life in Turkey and led to the detention of nearly 16,000 people.

The military has insisted that only a tiny proportion of the total armed forces — which number around three quarters of a million, the second-largest in NATO after the United States — took part in the coup.

But 178 generals have been detained, with 151 of them already remanded in custody, around half of the 358 generals serving in Turkey.

The media has also found itself in the firing line.

On Wednesday, three news agencies, 16 television stations, 23 radio stations, 45 newspapers, 15 magazines and 29 publishers, were ordered to shut down, the official gazette said.

It did not give the names of the media outlets to be closed, but according to a list obtained by the CNN-Turk channel they include mainly provincial titles as well as some well-known national media.

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