Turkish police raid prison, courthouses in post-coup probe

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Police in Turkey have raided the country’s biggest prison and courthouses to arrest prison guards and employees deemed linked to the failed July coup in the country.

According to Turkish media reports, police on Friday raided three Istanbul courthouses, including the Caglayan courthouse, where some of Turkey’s most important trials are held.

Turkey’s largest prison Silivri, which is located west of Istanbul, was also raided.

This comes after arrest warrants were issued for more than 160 personnel and prison guards as part of nationwide investigations over the failed coup. Prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for 87 courthouse personnel.

Separately, arrest warrants had also been issued for 75 more personnel and guards in three separate prisons across Istanbul.

According to Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag, authorities have suspended 1,500 prison personnel over links with the US-based opposition leader Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkish officials accuse of being behind the failed July 15 coup attempt.

Speaking at an event in the Turkish capital Ankara, Bozdag said on Friday the prison personnel were temporarily suspended but could be sacked if concrete links were found.

More than 270 people were killed and above 2,100 others sustained injuries when an army faction launched the putsch, using helicopters and tanks and clashing with government troops and people on the streets of the capital, Ankara, and the city of Istanbul.

Shortly after the coup bid was largely suppressed on July 16, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Gulen of being behind it.

Gulen has denied any involvement and warned that the blame game could be a ploy by the ruling Justice and Development Party to cement its grip on power.

Official figures show some 32,000 people have been arrested for their alleged role in the attempted coup. Nearly 100,000 people in the military, civil service, police and judiciary have been sacked or suspended.

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