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Turkish generals detained by UAE as coup crackdown continues

Turkish army commanders become first to be detained outside the country and deported back following 15 July coup attempt
Mehmet Cahit Bakir and Sener Topuc were deported to Turkey by the UAE (Afghan Resolute Support)

Two Turkish generals operating in Afghanistan have been detained in the UAE and deported to Ankara for suspected links to the 15 July coup attempt in Turkey, it was reported on Tuesday.

Diplomatic sources speaking to Anadolu Agency said Mehmet Cahit Bakir, a major general in command of the Afghanistan Turkish Task Force, and Sener Topuc, a brigadier general in command of the "Train, Advise and Assist Command" in Kabul, were detained at Dubai international airport.

The two were held by Emirati security services and deported to Turkey, where they faced questioning in Ankara on Tuesday morning.

The detention was organised through cooperation between the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) and the UAE authorities, added Anadolu agency.

It marks the first detentions of senior army figures serving outside Turkey as part of the government’s investigation into the coup which they claim was masterminded by the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen.

More than 13,000 people, including over 100 generals, have been detained so far in a vast sweep in the wake of the July 15 military coup bid, prompting anxiety abroad over the scope of the crackdown.

On Tuesday, former governor of Istanbul Huseyin Avni Mutlu was detained as part of the coup investigations.

Mutlu was governor of Istanbul in 2013 during the mass demonstrations against the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP), sparked off by the Gezi park protests in the centre of the city.

It was also announced on Tuesday by the foreign ministry that Turkey had removed two of its ambassadors.

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