Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) reviewing his honor guard ahead of an official ceremony on March 15, 2016. (AFP)
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has announced the disbanding of the country’s presidential guard following the recent failed coup.
"There will not be any presidential guard as we do not need it anymore," told Turkey’s A Haber TV channel on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, authorities arrested 283 members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s guard over alleged affiliation to failed coup.
This handout picture taken and released by the Turkish Prime Minister’s press office on July 22, 2016 shows Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (L) shaking hands with Turkish police officers as he visits the Police Special Operation Department's Headquarters in Golbasi district in Ankara. (AFP)
Turkey has launched a large-scale crackdown following the July 15 attempted coup d’état. A three-month state of emergency has also been declared in Turkey.
Meanwhile, the key aid of US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen (seen below), who Erdogan blames for the coup attempt, has been arrested. According to a source in the Turkish presidential office, Halis Hanci arrived in Turkey two days before the coup.
Turkish security forces also arrested Gulen’s nephew, Muhammad Saitd Gulen, in the northeastern city of Erzurum.
It is the first time a relative of Gulen has been reported detained since the coup attempt.
An armed Turkish police officer stands guard in front of the damaged Ankara police headquarters on July 19, 2016, after it was bombed during the failed July 15 coup attempt. (AFP)
Erdogan accuses Gulen, who has many followers in Turkey and abroad, of masterminding last Friday’s failed coup, in which at least 246 people were killed and more than 2,100 others sustained injuries. Gulen denies the charge and has condemned the coup.
Tens of thousands of soldiers, security officers, judges, prosecutors, civil servants and academics suspected of ties to the Gulen movement have been detained or suspended from their jobs following the putsch.