Turkish police raids three major courts in Istanbul for coup suspects

Istanbul: Turkish police on Monday raided three major courts in Istanbul in search of more than 170 suspects wanted over last month's attempted coup, reports said.

Police officials in Ankara. AP image

Police officials in Ankara. AP image

Police began searches of the city's main Caglayan court and courts in the districts of Gaziosmanpasa and Bakirkoy with arrest warrants for 173 prosecutors and other judicial staff working there, the Dogan news agency said.

The accused are suspected of links to the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen who Ankara blames for the 15 June failed putsch against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

It was not clear how many suspects had been detained in the raids.

According to official figures, more than 35,000 people have been detained so far in the post-coup crackdown against alleged Gulen supporters, although 11,597 of these have since been released.

Erdogan has said the purge is needed to wipe out what he calls the "virus" of Gulen from Turkish institutions. But critics have expressed alarm that its sheer scope has turned it into a witch hunt.

In a separate development, the former chief prosecutor for the eastern region of Erzurum was detained late Sunday while trying to cross into Syria.

Ekrem Beyaztas was caught by border guards just south of the Turkish town of Kilis, a Turkish official said, asking not to be named. There was no indication over why he had been heading to Syria.

Updated Date: Aug 15, 2016 15:00 PM

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