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Turkish Justice Minister ‘absolutely sure’ Obama behind coup

The Levant News — US President Barack Obama knew about the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey “as much as he knows his own name,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdagsaid Sunday. “I am sure the US intelligence and US secretary of state knew about it. I am absolutely sure.”

The comments come as Ankara continues to crack down on alleged co-conspirators of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose extradition Bozdag is seeking. Turks woke up today to the news that 42 journalists had been detained, while President Recep Tayyip Erdoganannounced Friday that 13,165 people have been detained since the coup attempt. Of those, 5,863 — including 123 generals — have been arrested and imprisoned. Erdogan said the detainees include 8,838 military personnel, 1,101 judges and prosecutors, and 1,485 police officials.

According to the latest figures, more than one third of general and admirals of Turkish Armed forces (TSK) have been detained including two 4-star generals, eight lieutenant-generals and admirals, and 24 major generals and vice admirals. The Minister of Interior has also announced that the passports of 10,856 civil servants have been cancelled. Meanwhile, reports said that since the coup 45,484 civil servants have been suspended from their posts.

Under the first decree passed since announcing a three-month state of emergency, Ankara announced over the weekend the closure of 35 medical institutions, 934 schools, 109 student hostels, 104 foundations, 15 universities, 19 labor unions and 1,125 NGOs. The decree also expands the allowable period of detention without arrest from two days to 30 days.

Source: Al-Monitor

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