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Turkey extends period of detention without charge to 30 days

The move follows last week's failed coup attempt against Erdogan and the subsequent declaration of a state of emergency.
(160720) -- ANKARA, July 20, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks at a press conference in Ankara, Turkey on July 20, 2016. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday declared state of emergency for three months following a failed coup attempt on July 15. (Xinhua/Mustafa Kaya)

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday extended the period for detaining suspects without charge to 30 days, an official statement said.

The statement also ordered the closure of more than 1,000 private schools and more than 1,200 associations, BBC reported.

The move follows last week’s failed coup attempt against Erdogan and the subsequent declaration of a state of emergency.

The Turkish leader has said the state of emergency will allow the authorities to deal with the aftermath of the failed coup effectively, allowing them to restore order, draft new laws and restrict or suspend rights and freedoms.

At least 60,000 state employees have been detained or suspended in an internationally criticised purge.

Education ministry officials, private school teachers and university heads of faculty together account for more than half the people targeted, state-run Anadolu News Agency reported.

Institutions ordered to be shut down included 19 trade unions, 15 universities and 35 medical institutes, the agency said.

The measures have been criticised by France and Germany, as well as top European Union officials, but Turkey has defended its actions, saying only those “100 per cent identified” with those behind the coup are being targeted, BBC noted.

Erdogan has blamed US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen for the failed coup,y but Gulen has categorically denied the charges.
Turkey wants US to extradite Gulen to face charges in the country’s court. However, the US maintains that it will have to consider evidences before they can do so.

Earlier, eight Turkish soldiers who had fled to Greece after the coup attempt was given two-month suspended prison sentence for illegal entry into the country.They claim innocence in their involvement in the coup but Turkey wants them to face charges. They are seeking asylum in Greece as they fear for their lives in their home country.
Although capital punishment has been abolished in Turkey in 2004, Erdogan has told supporters of death penalty that their demands can be discussed in Parliament.

With inputs from IANS

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