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Turkey in new era after abortive military coup: Erdogan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ©AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says last weekend’s failed military coup against the government has opened a “new era” in the country, stressing that all coup plotters would be prosecuted.

“With the failure of this armed coup attempt, Turkey has entered a new era,” Erdogan said in a pre-recorded address broadcast on national television Saturday.

He described those behind the coup plot as “terrorists in military fatigues,” noting that they are all accountable to “the state, security forces and judiciary for their actions.”

The putsch began overnight on July 15, when a faction of the Turkish military declared it was in control of the country and the Ankara government was no more in charge.

Tanks, helicopters and soldiers then clashed with police and people on the streets of the capital, Ankara, and Istanbul.

Over 300 people were killed on all sides in the attempted coup d’état that was gradually suppressed.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Turkish president said that 13,165 people have been arrested so far, with 5,863 pending trial and the remaining still being questioned.

On Thursday, the Turkish parliament approved a bill declaring a state of emergency, which allows Ankara to bypass the legislature in adopting new laws and limit or suspend rights and freedoms as they deem necessary.

Additionally, Erdogan referred to his first decree since the beginning of the state of emergency, under which the detention period is extended from four days to one month.

Pro-government demonstrators march over the Bosphorus Bridge, from the Asian to the European side of Istanbul, Turkey, July 21, 2016. ©Reuters

He added that so far, 934 schools, 109 student dorms, 15 universities, 104 foundation, 1,125 charity organization, 35 health institutes and 19 unions are shut down, amid the government’s sweeping crackdown on those believed to have played a role in the abortive July 15 putsch.

He also went on to say that the process has begun to discharge the civil servants who have links to Fethullah Gulen, the US-based cleric accused by Ankara of orchestrating the coup attempt; a claim “categorically” rejected by the opposition figure.

Gulen’s nephew, Muhammad Saitd Gulen, and Halis Hanci, a senior aide to the cleric, have been taken into custody over the attempted coup.

Erdogan and Gulen were allies until police and prosecutors, seen as sympathetic to the latter, opened a corruption investigation into Erdogan’s inner circle in 2013.

The probe led to the resignation of the ministers of economy, interior, and urbanization. Gulen is also viewed to be behind the leaks that led to the probe.

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