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Hundreds Arrested in Turkey in 2016 Failed Coup


FILE - University students and academics react toward Turkish policemen at the Cebeci campus of Ankara University during a protest in Ankara, Feb. 10, 2017, against the dismissal of academics from universities following a post-coup emergency decree.

Turkish police raided the homes of hundreds of military personnel Friday in connection with the July 2016 failed coup.

The prosecutor's office has charged the service members with links to the network of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Ankara has put the blame for the coup attempt on supporters of Gulen, whose Hizmet movement has an influential presence in Turkish society, including the media, police and judiciary.

Turkey is facing growing accusations the ongoing crackdown is more about stifling dissent.

This week, Turkey jailed several journalists and academics, and a philanthropist charged with sedition, which carries life imprisonment.

The U.S.-based Human Right Watch condemned Turkey in a statement Friday, while European parliamentarians proposed a motion this week for the suspension of Turkey's EU membership bid.

Gulen, a former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denied allegations that he was behind the 2016 coup attempt, in which about 250 people were killed.

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