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Turkey Rounds Up Suspected Coup Plotters, Blames U.S.-Based Cleric for Incident

A funeral service is held at the presidential palace in Ankara for policeman Mehmet Çetin, who was killed on the evening of the coup attempt two days earlier while guarding the presidential complex. (Photo: Turkish Presidential Press Service)

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Turkish officials have rounded up thousands of people suspected of involvement in the failed military coup attempt and have locked down a key air base used for U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State militants.

Planes also began landing at Istanbul's Ataturk airport on July 16 as the country slowly returned to normal after the shocking coup attempt that killed at least 265 people and left more than 1,400 wounded.

Turkish officials detained a senior judge and the Turkish commander of a NATO rapid-reaction unit on treason charges after the coup, which began late on July 15 when a fraction within the Turkish military announced it had seized power in the country.

Ankara was quick to blame the coup on what it says is a network of supporters of 75-year-old Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.

Gulen said on July 16 that he had "no knowledge" of the military coup attempt that began late on July 15 and condemned any violent attempt to oust the Turkish government, of which he is a fierce critic.

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A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Turkey Rounds Up Suspected Coup Plotters, Blames U.S.-Based Cleric for Incident

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