The Turkish military has said 8,651 soldiers took part in the failed coup attempt earlier this month – approximately 1.5% of the army. , according to reports. In a statement, Turkey’s army General Staff said they were part of a “terrorist” network led by US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the government has accused of masterminding the plot.
Mr Gulen denies any involvement. It was also announced that 35 planes, including 24 fighter jets had been used on July 15, plus 37 helicopters. On the ground, 37 tanks and 246 armoured vehicles were used by those supporting the attempted overthrow of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration.
The military said it had the power to suppress any further uprisings. As part of a crackdown on alleged supporters of Mr Gulen, warrants have been issued for the detention of another 47 employees from the now defunct Zaman newspaper. Forty-two warrants were issued for other journalists earlier this week, with 16 believed to have been taken into custody so far.
Speaking anonymously, a government official told reporters: “Today’s detentions cover executives and some staff including columnists of Zaman newspaper, the Gulen movement’s flagship media organisation. “The prosecutors aren’t interested in what individual columnists wrote or said.
“At this point, the reasoning is that prominent employees of Zaman are likely to have intimate knowledge of the Gulen network and as such could benefit the investigation.” Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported that at least one of the journalists, columnist Sahin Alpay, had been detained at his home.
Speaking on Tuesday, Turkey’s Prime Minister told Sky News that the purge of plotters had not finished. Binali Yildrim said: “The investigation is continuing. There are people who are being searched for. “There could be new apprehensions, arrests and detentions… the process is not completed yet.”