Erdogan says 13,000 detained as Turkey intensifies post-coup purge

Turkey has detained over 13,000 people as part of a crackdown in response to a failed military coup, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said late Saturday, not long after the presidential guard became the latest target of the purge.

Of those detained, 6,000 have been placed under arrest.

Also late Saturday, Prime Minister Binali Yilidirim said that the presidential guard is to be completely disbanded. The premier told broadcaster A Haber that the regiment is no longer needed.

The government has vowed to "cleanse" the country's civil service of supporters of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who it says is behind the attempted putsch and has established a "parallel state" within Turkey's military, judiciary and bureaucratic institutions.

Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, has denied any involvement in the plot.

Erdogan has issued a decree to close 2,341 institutions - including schools, charities, unions and medical centres - all of which the government says are linked to Gulen. The decree also extends the legal time a person can be detained to 30 days.

The coup began on July 15 and left 260 people dead. Since then, the rapid pace of arrests and sackings in Turkey has worried many of Ankara's Western allies.

Last update: Sun, 24/07/2016 - 12:27
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