The Latest: spokesman blames ‘Gulenist clique’ for coup plot


ISTANBUL (AP) — The Latest on the attempted military coup in Turkey (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

The spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed a “Gulenist clique within the Turkish army” for an attempted military coup.

Ibrahim Kalin said Tuesday that “all the evidence” pointed to the involvement of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fetullah Gulen in the coup plot.

“There will be legal evidence collected in this investigation and we will present all of this to the Americans as part of our extradition request,” he said.

“On the grounds of suspicion, he can be easily extradited. We would like to see cooperation from the U.S. authorities on this issue.

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5:20 p.m.

State-run Anadolu news agency reports that Turkey’s Board of Higher Education has requested the resignations of 1,577 university deans, effectively dismissing them.

Tuesday’s announcement comes right on the heels of an announcement by the Ministry of National Education that it has dismissed 15,200 personnel over their alleged involvement with a group the government claims is responsible for Friday’s failed coup.

Of the deans dismissed, 1,176 worked in public universities and 401 in private institutions.

Sweeping purges in the aftermath of the thwarted coup has seen the dismissal of thousands from the judiciary, police force, military and bureaucracy.

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5 p.m.

The state-run Anadolu news agency reports that Turkey’s ministry of education has sacked 15,200 personnel for alleged involvement with a group the government claims is responsible for Friday’s failed coup.

The National Education Ministry said Tuesday that the staff are in both urban and rural establishments, and that an investigation has been launched against them.

The government accuses U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gulen of plotting the coup and wants him extradited.

Sweeping purges in the aftermath of the coup have seen the dismissal of thousands from the judiciary, police force, military, administrative and religious affairs departments.

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4:30 p.m.

The state-run Anadolu news agency is reporting that Turkey’s media regulatory agency has canceled all broadcast rights and licenses for any media outlets that are linked to or are supportive of the group the government holds responsible for Friday night’s failed coup.

The agency said Tuesday that the Supreme Board of Radio and Television voted unanimously to revoke permissions for “any radio or television outlet connected with or supportive of” the group linked to U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gulen. The government accuses him of plotting the coup and wants him extradited.

The vague directive doesn’t identify specific media outlets, leaving it open for interpretation. The Turkish Journalist Association said they are discussing the new directive and have no immediate comment.

Domestic and international groups have condemned the crackdown against media outlets in the aftermath of the attempted coup.

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3:20 p.m.

Turkey’s deputy prime minister says dossiers containing details of activities of the U.S-based cleric accused of plotting the failed coup have been sent to the U.S.

Numan Kurtulmus says Tuesday he can’t go into the details of the files but said they include the past actions of the group led by Fethullah Gulen. They may also include new evidence that emerges from the current investigation. He said an extradition order will follow.

He said 9,000 people have been detained so far, of whom 80 were later released.

Religious authorities announced they have fired 492 staff, including clerics, preachers and religious teachers on suspicion they are linked to the botched coup.

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2:45 p.m.

Turkey’s deputy prime minister has compared the movement of the U.S-based cleric accused of plotting the failed coup to the militant Islamic State group.

In comments to reporters Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said the movement of Fethullah Gulen has deviant religious ideology “no different than IS in the slightest.”

He added if they had succeeded, the Gulen movement “would have taken Turkey back 40-50 years and could have broken up the country like Syria.”

The government is asking the U.S. to extradite the cleric.

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2:40 p.m.

Turkey’s state run Anadolu news agency reports that 257 people working at the office of the prime minister have been dismissed and their identification seized.

Tuesday’s dismissals are over suspicion of their involvement in the movement linked to Friday night’s attempted coup.

Sweeping purges in the aftermath of the coup have seen the dismissal of thousands from the judiciary, police force, military, bureaucracy and religious affairs departments.

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2:20 p.m.

Turkey’s central bank has cut a key interest rate to help shore up the economy, days after an attempted coup.

In a statement Tuesday, the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee said it has reduced its overnight marginal funding rate from 9 percent to 8.75 percent. All other interest rates were left unchanged.

The cut in the marginal rate is intended to shore up liquidity in the economy amid market concerns over the impact of Friday’s attempted coup.

Though the rate-setting body didn’t mention the coup directly, it said recent measures “have increased the resilience of the economy against shocks.”

Turkish financial markets have been volatile since the coup. Despite a modest rally Tuesday, Turkish stocks are still way down from pre-coup levels, as is the Turkish lira.

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2:15 p.m.

The U.N. human rights chief is expressing alarm about the mass suspension or removals of judges in Turkey after a failed military coup and is calling on its leaders to strengthen democratic institutions.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein also decried comments from some officials that the death penalty could be reinstated, saying such a move would be “a big step in the wrong direction” and violate Turkey’s responsibilities under international law.

In a statement Tuesday, Zeid praised Turks who “bravely took to the streets to defend their country,” and urged authorities to respect “fair trial standards” for those responsible for Friday’s failed coup.

He said it is “particularly crucial to ensure that human rights are not squandered in the name of security and in the rush to punish those perceived to be responsible.”

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2:10 p.m.

Turkey’s military command has declared that all elements responsible for Friday night’s attempted coup have been neutralized.

In a written statement released Tuesday morning, the Office of the General Staff announced that all terrorist elements had been suppressed nationwide as of 4 p.m. Sunday.

The statement noted that between the political leadership, the heroism of the loyal security forces and the bravery of the public, “the necessary response had been given to the snakes in our midst.”

According to official figures from the prime minister’s office, Friday night’s coup attempt resulted in 232 deaths and 1,541 wounded.

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2:05 p.m.

The state-run Anadolu news agency reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Air Force adviser, Lt. Col. Erkan Kivrak, has been detained at a hotel in the Serik district of Turkey’s southern province of Antalya.

It says Kivrak was detained while on vacation. Following processing by the Antalya police, he has been transferred to Ankara.

No details were given as to the reason for the detention, though dozens of senior military personnel have been put under arrest for alleged involvement in Friday’s thwarted coup.

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10:30 a.m.

Turkey’s state-run news agency says courts have ordered 85 generals and admirals jailed pending trial over their roles in a botched coup attempt. Dozens of others were still being questioned.

Anadolu Agency said Tuesday that those formally arrested include former air force commander Gen. Akin Ozturk, alleged to be the ringleader of the July 15 uprising, and Gen. Adem Hududi, commander of Turkey’s 2nd Army, which is charge of countering possible threats to Turkey from Syria, Iran and Iraq.

Authorities have rounded up thousands alleged to have been involved in the coup, in which 208 government supporters and 24 coup plotters. The government says a U.S.-based Muslim cleric was behind the coup.

Thousands of officials suspected of links to him were purged from the judiciary and the Interior Ministry.

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