Turkey widens post-coup purge, demands US hand over cleric

Erdogan flew into Istanbul early Saturday where he was greeted by a sea of supporters, and shortly after the government announced it had regained control and that the coup had failed.

On Monday morning, the Turkish Air Force Academy located near Ataturk Airport was raided by a large number of security forces, with four high-ranking soldiers reportedly taken away over their links to the coup attempt that broke out on Friday night. "Unfortunately like a cancer, this virus has enveloped the state", Erdogan told mourners.

"This parliament has seen plenty of coups but none of the coups have dropped bombs on parliament", he said, referring to the three attempts to seize power launched by the army since 1960 and the 1997 bloodless coup which forced an Islamist government out of office.

"So far 7 543 suspects have been detained".

Despite increasing European Union criticism towards Turkey, a spokesman for the German government said that there were no indications that Ankara had changed its position on a deal it made with the bloc earlier this year to stem the flow of migrants to Europe. On Monday, a national court sanctioned the arrest of 41 out of the 103 detained generals and admirals suspected of plotting the insurrection with an arrest warrant being issued against the president's top military adviser Ali Yazici.

Turkish prosecutors were questioning more than 100 senior military leaders Monday and former air force commander Gen. The reports said at least 30 governors - more than a third of the total - have been fired amid thousands of nationwide dismissals.

The coup started in turkey on Friday night when tanks entered Ankara and Istanbul and soldiers blocked the famous Bosphorus Bridge connecting the European and Asian sides of Istanbul.

"It seems the government doesn't want to take any chances".

NTV quoted him as saying: "I am not someone who has planned or directed the coup attempt. The lists are available, which indicates it was prepared and to be used at a certain stage", he said.

But there has been global concern over the mass arrests, with US President Barack Obama urging Ankara to "act within the rule of law" in the aftermath of the failed putsch.

During a phone call, Obama "strongly condemned" the violent uprising and "urged that the investigations and prosecution of the coup's perpetrators be conducted in ways that reinforce public confidence in democratic institutions and the rule of law", it said in a statement.

Turkey's Interior Ministry has fired almost 9,000 police officers, bureaucrats and others and detained thousands of suspected plotters following a foiled coup against the government, Turkey's state-run news agency reported Monday. Nearly 1 500 were wounded, he added.

Erdogan apparently believed Gulen's allies in the judiciary were responsible for the inquiry, and responded by dismissing many in the judicial system considered close to Gulen, a powerful political force in his own right.

Mr Gulen denies any involvement.

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