Turkey suspends 12,800 police, shuts TV channel

Turkey has suspended 12,800 police officers over alleged links to an Islamic preacher accused of masterminding the failed July coup.

It also cut broadcasts of a pro-Kurdish television channel under its controversial state of emergency.

Tens of thousands have already been arrested or lost their jobs under the three three-month state of emergency, which was declared days after the July 15 coup and was extended on Monday a further 90 days to last well into 2017.

Officers entered IMC TV headquarters and cut broadcasts after it was ordered, along with several other outlets, to be closed last week under the emergency laws over accusations of supporting Kurdish militants. 

A total of 12,801 police were suspended from duty as part of the investigation into the coup attempt, including 2,523 police chiefs, the police headquarters said in a statement.

In total, Turkey has around 270,000 police officers.

A Turkish official, who did not wish to be named, confirmed the suspensions, adding that the individuals would continue to be paid two-thirds of their salary "pending further investigation."

The action was taken over suspected links to the movement of the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen which Turkey blames for the failed putsch in July that sought to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from power.

Gulen, an ally-turned-foe of Erdogan who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, strongly denies Ankara's accusations.

Supporters of the Gulen movement, also known as Hizmet (service), insist it is a loose grouping of individuals committed to peace and helping people through education and charities.

Topics: Turkey , politics , coup
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