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Turkey sacks military press personnel, shuts media

Ankara: The Turkish government continues to take action against soldiers and institutions after this month’s failed coup attempt. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week said actions were being taken to remove the “threat” raised during the attempt. Officials have fired or suspended tens of thousands as the government intensifies its vast purge.

Amid a state of emergency, 45 newspapers, 16 television stations and three news agencies have been closed, state-run news agency Anadolu said. Anadolu said nearly 1,700 soldiers — including 87 generals — have been fired. Turkey has formally requested the extradition of Gulen from the United States, where he lives in self-imposed exile. He has denied involvement in the plot. In total, Turkey has closed about 130 media and publishing outlets, Anadolu said. “No one disputes the Turkish government’s legitimate right to defend constitutional order after this abortive coup but democracy, for which hundreds of civilians gave their lives, cannot be protected by trampling on fundamental freedoms,” said Johann Bihr, head of the group’s desk in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.