Turkey coup attempt: Charges laid against 99 generals and admirals

Soldiers detained for suspected coup involvement are brought to court in Istanbul. PHOTO: AFP

TURKEY has formally charged 99 generals and admirals in connection with the weekend’s thwarted coup attempt – just under a third of the country’s 356 top military officers.

President Erdogan is meeting with loyal commanders and his cabinet in Ankara.

Authorities have banned all academics from travelling abroad, as the purge of state employees suspected of being connected to the failed coup continues.

BBC reported that more than 50,000 people have been rounded up, sacked or suspended.

So far about 1,577 university deans (faculty heads) have been asked to resign in addition to 21,000 teachers and 15,000 education ministry officials.

They are suspected of having links to the alleged mastermind of the coup, US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen – who denies any involvement.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is chairing an emergency meeting of the National Security Council and is expected to make further announcements later on Wednesday.

As soon as it became clear that the coup had failed, the purges began – first with the security forces, then spreading to Turkey’s entire civilian infrastructure.

Human rights group Amnesty International has warned the purges are being extended to censor media outlets and journalists, including those critical of government policy.

“We are witnessing a crackdown of exceptional proportions in Turkey at the moment.

“While it is understandable, and legitimate, that the government wishes to investigate and punish those responsible for this bloody coup attempt, they must abide by the rule of law and respect freedom of expression,” Amnesty’s Turkey researcher Andrew Gardner said.