Turkey says 32,000 people arrested since failed coup

Turkey’s National Security Council on Wednesday recommended extending the country’s state of emergency after a six-hour meeting of the key body, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The move paves the way for the cabinet to approve the measure despite concern expressed by large segments of the country's opposition who want the emergency measures to end.

The state of emergency was imposed nationwide for 90 days following the failed coup in July and gives the government wide-ranging powers.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said earlier Wednesday that 32,000 people had been arrested since the failed coup.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by decree has shuttered institutions, including media outlets, and fired more than 50,000 civil servants and suspended tens of thousands more.

Some of the people arrested have been taken into custody, while others have been freed on bail, Bozdag told broadcaster NTV.

Turkish opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu criticized the mass arrests and dismissals and pledged support to victims.

"If you govern a country not with justice but with hatred, revenge, and anger, it creates only oppression," the head of the center-left People's Republican Party (CHP) told reporters in the town of Tokat.

He said those involved in the coup attempt should be brought to justice but via proper public court cases.

The governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Erdogan blame the attempted coup on Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Turkish cleric who denies the charges. Ankara is demanding his extradition from the United States.

The government has released some 38,000 prisoners, jailed before the failed coup, to free up space for the wave of new arrests, all of whom are accused of having some links to Gulen.

The government also plans to build dozens of new prisons, amid reports of overcrowding.

Last update: Wed, 28/09/2016 - 23:35
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