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turkey crackdown

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Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced he is withdrawing all lawsuits against people charged with insulting him.

He said he was inspired by the feelings of unity in the wake of the recent failed coup.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan also stepped up his attacks on nations criticizing his crackdown in the wake of the coup attempt, telling them to “mind your own business”.

The president earlier blasted General Joseph Votel, head of US Central Command, saying he was “on the side of the coup plotters”.

Gen. Joseph Votel had said in remarks on July 28 that the jailing of some military leaders could damage Turkish-American military co-operation.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the presidential palace: “I am going to withdraw all the cases regarding the disrespectful insults made against me.”

He said it was a one-off gesture of goodwill.President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Turkey elections 2015

Earlier this year, Turkish authorities said some 2,000 people were facing such prosecutions.

Recep Erdogan was also defiant in the face of criticism over his crackdown, which the interior ministry said on July 29 had seen 18,000 detentions.

He said: “Some people give us advice. They say they are worried. Mind your own business! Look at your own deeds.

“Not a single person has come to give condolences either from the European Union… or from the West… Those countries or leaders who are not worried about Turkey’s democracy, the lives of our people, its future – while being so worried about the fate of the putschists – cannot be our friends.”

Speaking at the same event, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkey had now succeeded in removing all elements linked to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen from the military.

Turkey blames Fethullah Gulen for orchestrating the coup attempt, something he denies.

On July 29, President Recep Erdogan had told Gen. Joseph Votel to “know your place”, adding: “You are taking the side of coup plotters instead of thanking this state for defeating the coup attempt.”

Gen. Joseph Votel had said one day before: “We have certainly had relationships with a lot of Turkish leaders – military leaders in particular. I am concerned about what the impact is on those relationships as we continue.”

The next day, replying after President Recep Erdogan’s comments, Gen. Joseph Votel said any reports that he was involved in the coup were “unfortunate and completely inaccurate”.

Gen. Joseph Votel added that Turkey had been an “extraordinary and vital partner” for many years and he was looking forward to their partnership in the fight against self-styled Islamic State.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had also said on July 28 that Turkey’s crackdown was disrupting Turkish-American military co-operation in fighting ISIS.

Turkey announced a military reshuffle on July 28, including the dishonorable discharge of 1,700 military servicemen. About 40% of generals and admirals have been discharged since the coup.


More than 66,000 Turkish public sector workers have been dismissed from their posts and 50,000 passports cancelled, while the labor ministry is investigating 1,300 of its staff.

Turkey has also shut 142 media outlets and detained several journalists.

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More than 130 media organizations have been close in Turkey, as a crackdown continues following the failed coup on July 15.

According to Turkish authorities, 3 news agencies, 16 TV channels, 23 radio stations, 45 papers, 15 magazines and 29 publishers will be shut.

In March, Zaman, once one of Turkey’s biggest newspapers, was put under state control. Arrest warrants have been issued for 47 staff.

Many of the media outlets are linked to the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen

The government says Fethullah Gulen was behind the army-led attempted coup, a claim he denies.Turkey media crackdown

Separately, the government announced on July 27 that nearly 1,700 members of the armed forces, including 149 generals and admirals had been discharged.

At least 246 people died during the coup, and more than 2,000 people were injured.

Both the closure of the media outlets and the soldiers’ dismissal were announced in Turkey’s official Resmi Gazete.

While most are relatively small provincial outlets, several with a national audience have also been targeted.

Zaman‘s readers were mostly Fethullah Gulen supporters, who stopped reading it after the state takeover in March, rendering it unprofitable.

In addition to the warrants issued for the 47 Zaman staff, authorities had sought the arrest of 42 other journalists earlier in the week.

Among those discharged from the armed forces are 87 army generals, 30 air force generals and 32 admirals.

The Turkish army also revealed that 8,651 members, or 1.5%, of the nation’s armed forces had taken part in the failed coup.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to purge state bodies of the “virus” he says caused the revolt.

Last week, Turkey declared a three-month state of emergency, allowing the president and the government to bypass parliament when drafting new laws and to restrict or suspend rights and freedoms.