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Turkey to shut over 1,000 schools amid ongoing post-coup crackdown

Officials also say suspects can now be detained for up to 30 days without charge under emergency powers
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inspects troops outside the presidential palace earlier this week (AFP)

Turkey will shut down over 2,000 private schools and associations as part of a crackdown on alleged supporters of a failed coup attempt.

The announcement that 1,043 private schools and 1,229 associations and foundations are to be forced to close came in an official statement on Saturday, which also said that suspects can be detained without charge for up to 30 days under emergency powers.

The suspects can be held for up to 30 days before being taken to a judge to decide whether to remand them in custody, said an announcement in the official gazette, where all laws and decrees appear when they come into force.

Rights groups including Amnesty International had warned Turkey against expanding the detention period, which in normal times stands at a maximum of four days.

Turkey blames the coup attempt on the organisation of US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, whose influence runs deep in the Turkish education and legal systems.

According to the authorities, 10,410 people have been detained in the crackdown so far – most of those arrested have been soldiers, although many police, judges, prosecutors and civil servants have also been taken into custody.

Of these, 4,060 people have been charged and placed under arrest so far, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

However, 1,200 of the soldiers arrested are to be released, the attorney general announced on Saturday morning.

Thousands of people have also been dismissed from their jobs, particulary in the education ministry, where 15,000 people have been sacked so far.

Among the latest to be remanded in custody is the female governor of the Black Sea province of Sinop, Yasemin Ozata Cetinkaya, the only regional governor to be detained so far.

At least 295 members of Erdogan's presidential guard - over a tenth of its entire membership - have also been detained over suspected links to the coup.

Meanwhile, 28 suspects detained over alleged links to a purportedly pro-Gulen whistleblowing Twitter account called Fuat Avni have been sent to court to be remanded in custody, the Dogan news agency said.

The government said the 15 July coup bid claimed the lives of 24 plotters and of 246 citizens and members of the security forces who opposed them.

Erdogan has announced that 15 July will be an annual day of commemoration for the “martyrs” who were killed opposing the coup. 

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