Police escort journalists to court in the Turkish city of Istanbul on July 29, 2016 amid the government’s crackdown following the July 15 failed military coup. ©AP
Turkey has detained dozens of businessmen and academics and issued arrest warrants for some 50 military officers over suspected links to US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed for a recent abortive coup.
The Turkish Anadolu news agency reported that leading clothing maker and retailer Omer Faruk Kavurmaci was among 27 businessmen, who were taken into custody on Thursday pending trial.
Faruk Gullu, owner of a chain of pastry shops was also detained on suspicion of belonging to the Gulen movement.
Meanwhile, 21 university academics were jailed pending trial over the same charges in the province of Malatya.
Additionally, Istanbul prosecutors issued detention orders for six generals, 43 other officers and some civilians in a police operation extending across 15 provinces, Anadolu reported, adding that four of the officers have been detained so far.
The new arrests add to the tens of thousands of people already detained as part of the Turkish government’s sweeping crackdown on those believed to have played a role in the failed July 15 putsch.
Almost 43,000 people have also been dismissed from government jobs.
The coup began when a faction of the Turkish military declared it was in control of the country and the 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. Between 200 and 300 people were killed on all sides in the attempted coup d’état.
Demonstrators wave Turkish flags and shout slogans during a rally in Istanbul on August 7, 2016 against the July 15 failed military coup. ©AFP
Ankara said Gulen was behind the coup, but the cleric rejected the accusation.
Opposition politicians are concerned that the latest wave of arrests may target government critics with no clear links to the Gulen movement.
Also on Thursday, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said "crisis centers" would be set up to handle the claims of those who believe they have been targeted unfairly by the coup investigation.
"If a mistake is made, if there is anything contrary to justice and the law, it will be reviewed after operations are completed and mistakes will be corrected," he said.

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