Turkey Jails 85 Generals, Admirals Over Failed Coup

Dozens of others are still being interrogated
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 19, 2016 3:46 AM CDT
Turkey Jails 85 Generals, Admirals Over Failed Coup
Former Turkish air force commander Akin Ozturk is now in custody.   (Oktay Ensari Kayseri/DHA via AP)

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 are still being questioned, the AP reports. 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 Huduti, commander of Turkey's Second Army, which is in 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 at least 208 government supporters and 24 coup plotters were killed. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has refused to rule out bringing back the death penalty.

The purging of thousands of alleged coup plotters raised tensions Monday between Turkey and the West, with US and European officials urging restraint while Ankara insisted that Washington extradite an exile accused of orchestrating the plot, the AP reports. As Western officials expressed alarm at the rapid roundup of so many by their key NATO ally, Turkish government officials explained that the plotters in the military had been under investigation and launched their ill-planned operation out of panic. The government claimed the swift move against so many reflected the prior investigation of those with links to moderate cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former Erdogan ally who lives in exile in Saylorsburg, Pa. (Erdogan's plane had "trouble in the air" during the coup attempt.)

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