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Turkey

Turkey detains dozens of police over coup allegations

Turkey's government has launched a renewed crackdown on police in connection with an alleged attempt to oust Recep Tayyip Erdogan from power. It's the latest in a series of police purges.

Dozens of Turkish police officers were detained on Monday for allegedly "seeking to overthrow the government," according to domestic broadcaster NTV.

Arrest warrants were issued for at least 30 police officers in a nationwide sweep. Among the detained was Yakup Saygili, the former head of the police anti-fraud unit. This year, the Turkish government has launched several police purges.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the detained police officers of conspiring with his arch-rival, the US-based moderate Islamist Fethullah Gulen, to overthrow the government. Erdogan previously served as Turkey's prime minister for a decade. In the past, he has accused Gulen of running a "parallel state" in Turkey that draws loyalty from some officials in law enforcement and the judiciary.

The government's purge of the police stems from a corruption investigation into top officials and business leaders last year.

Corruption allegations

Last February, an audio recording surfaced on the Internet, in which Erdogan allegedly tells his son to hide large sums of money. The government subsequently denied the authenticity of the recording.

The conversation was supposedly recorded on December 17, 2013, the day that a corruption scandal broke involving allegations of bribery, illegal gold trading with Iran, and illegal construction projects. Many politicians, businessmen and the sons of government ministers were implicated in the scandal.

Several government ministers were forced to step down as a result of the scandal, the biggest challenge to Erdogan's more than 10-year rule as prime minister.

slk/ksb (AP, AFP, dpa)

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