Turkey orders detention of 295 military personnel

The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Friday ordered the detention of 295 active duty military members in 59 provinces over alleged terrorist links, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

According to Anadolu, 147 members of the land forces, 22 from the gendarmerie, 27 from the air forces, 91 from the naval forces and eight from the coast guard are among the suspects.

Three colonels, eight majors and 10 lieutenants are reportedly on the detention list.

On Tuesday Turkish prosecutors in several cities ordered the detention of 363 people, majority of whom are military members, as part of a massive crackdown targeting faith-based Gülen movement followers.

Experts believe that mass detentions and a systematic purge of pro-NATO military officers are part of a transformation project carried out by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who formed an unwritten coalition with neo-nationalists and Euroasianists in the country that favor Turkey joining a Russian-led bloc along with Iran and China.

Since July 15, 2016 more than 6,000 military members including high-ranking generals and 150,000 civil servants have been purged under government decrees.

According to the Turkish Interior Ministry, more than 500,000 people have been detained in countrywide police operations and some 30,000 are currently behind bars for their alleged ties to the movement since the abortive coup.

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