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Turkey shuts down scores of media outlets after failed coup


Turkey has ordered the closure of scores of media outlets and discharged 149 generals as part of a deepening crackdown that followed the failed coup earlier this month, official sources said.

According to a government decree published in Turkey’s official gazette, the closure involves three news agencies, 16 television stations, 23 radio stations, 45 newspapers, 15 magazines and 29 publishers.

The decree did not give the names of those media outlets to be closed but according to a list obtained by the CNN-Turk channel they include mainly provincial titles but also some well-known national media.

These include the Cihan news agency, the pro-Kurdish IMC TV and the opposition daily newspaper Taraf.

Also to be shut are the Zaman newspaper and its English-language sister publication, Today’s Zaman, which, like Cihan, were part of a holding linked to the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen until being put into state administration earlier this year.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Gulen, a former ally, of masterminding the failed July 15-16 coup, a claim the cleric has vehemently denied.

Crackdown on army

Confirming the government decree, a Turkish official said the discharged army commanders included 87 generals in the land army, 30 from the air force and 32 admirals.

CNN-Turk said a total of 1,684 military personnel had been discharged since the botched attempt to remove Erdogan from power.

Turkey declared a three-month state of emergency and detained more than 13,000 people in the military, judiciary and other institutions following the foiled coup.

Under the state of emergency, Turkish authorities can hold suspects in detention without charge for up to 30 days before they are taken to a judge to decide whether to remand them in custody.

In an interview with FRANCE 24 last Saturday, Erdogan said the emergency powers were necessary to cure his country of “separatist terrorist organisations”, which he likened to a “cancer”.

But the wave of arrests has alarmed Turkey’s NATO allies and European leaders, amid fears the Turkish president may be exploiting the fallout from the failed coup to crack down on dissenting voices.

Turkey to close all army high schools

The Turkish government is also set to issue another decree to close down military high schools and restructure war academies in the wake of the failed coup attempt.

After the publication of the new decree on Thursday, all military high schools will be shut, and all cadets will be transferred to regular state schools, Al Jazeera Turk reported on Wednesday citing government sources.

A total of 8,651 soldiers took part in the failed coup attempt and 1,214 of these soldiers were “military students”, according to the Turkish military.

(With Agency/Al Jazeera/France 24 Inputs)

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