Turkish authorities dismiss military personnel, shut media outlets

Journalists gather outside a court building to support journalist Bulent Mumay who was detained Tuesday in connection with the investigation of the attempted coup in Turkey

Turkish authorities dismiss military personnel, shut media outlets

FILE - A soldier protects himself from the mob after troops involved in the coup attempt surrendered on the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. The top-level military meet.

Prime minister Binali Yildirim said: "The investigation is continuing - there are people who are being searched for". The Supreme Military Council, gathering top commanders of NATO's sec.

In Greece, authorities on Wednesday postponed hearings for eight Turkish soldiers who sought asylum there after fleeing Turkey.

But it sparked a backlash affecting all aspects of life in Turkey, a key North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member with a population of 79 million and the second largest army in the Alliance.

On July 15 evening, Turkish authorities said a military coup attempt took place in the country.

Yildirim accompanied senior military officers to pay respects at Ataturk's mausoleum in Ankara ahead of the meeting.

On Wednesday, the military dishonourably discharged 1,684 of its personnel, a Turkish government official said, citing their role in the failed coup.

In addition, 1,099 officers and 436 junior officers have received a dishonourable discharge, according to the decree. The council, which decides on promotions and retirements, was expected to announce more dismissals on Thursday.

Turkonfed, a non-governmental group that represents Turkish businesses, welcomed a recent meeting in which Erdogan and two opposition leaders discussed national unity.

Out of the 47 journalists who were newly ordered detention on Wednesday, most are from the now defunct Zaman newspaper, which was Turkey's largest daily, and allegedly a supporter of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen who is accused of orchestrating the coup.

Almost 16,000 people were detained over suspected links to the failed uprising, and about half of them were formally arrested to face trial.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who survived the biggest threat to his 13-year domination of the country when supporters countered the plotters on the streets, has blamed the July 15 coup on the reclusive US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen.

The Turkish government and President Erdogan are using this as a pretext to put pressure on the United States in an effort to get Gulan extradited, the founder and director of the Centre for Turkey Studies and Development in London, Ibrahim Dogus, told media.

The attempted coup has also tested Turkey's ties with its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally the United States, where Gulen has lived in self-imposed exile since 1999. The foreign minister alleged that judges and prosecutors who are followers of Gulen are now in Germany, which has a significant Turkish minority population. "Germany must return them", Cavusoglu said. Washington has responded cautiously to the request to extradite Mr. Gulen, saying it must provide clear evidence of his involvement in the coup plot.

However, "this has been lost to a great extent" because Turkey "intervened in the internal affairs of other countries", Kilicdaroglu said.

With officials continuing to assure the world that coup plotters had infiltrated anything and everything in Turkey, the post-coup purge seems able to target any given industry at any moment.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in response to Cavusoglu's demand that Germany was "bound by the rule of law".

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