Turkey orders arrest of 85 over failed coup attempt

May 16, 2017, 8:06 AM EDT
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
(Source: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan/flickr)

Turkey continued its crackdown on those involved in a failed coup attempt last July as it ordered the arrest of 85 staff at the energy and education ministries on Tuesday. Ankara has formally arrested more than 50,000 people in connection with the failed putsch, which it insists, was orchestrated by the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Rights groups have heaped criticism on the Turkish government after the detainees’ relatives questioned the sweeping action and called themselves victims of a purge, writes Reuters.

Seventeen U.S. officials, academics and others, suspected of links with a banned rebel organization, are also under scanner of Turkish prosecutors, notes Middle East Eye.