Turkey issues detention warrants for 167 over suspected Gulen links: media
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish police arrested dozens of people on Tuesday looking for 167 suspects, including many soldiers on active duty, in crackdown on supporters of a Muslim preacher whom the government accused of organizing a failed coup in 2016 .
The arrests were the latest in a four-year-old crackdown on US-based clergy Fethullah Gulen's network. He denies involvement in the July 2016 coup in which around 250 people were killed.
Authorities launched an operation from the coastal province of Izmir in search of 110 suspects, including 16 pilots, a colonel and a lieutenant colonel, in 26 provinces, the broadcaster TRT Haber said. It said 89 suspects had been arrested.
In a separate operation against Gulen's supporters, police searched 57 other suspects in 15 provinces, state-run Anadolu news agency said, adding that 32 people had been arrested.
Police spokespersons were not immediately available to comment.
Since the premature coup, around 80,000 people have been tried and around 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others have been dismissed or suspended. More than 20,000 people were excluded from the Turkish military.
Turkey's rights groups and Western allies have criticized the scale of the action, claiming the government used it as a pretext to suppress dissent.
The government has denied the allegation, stating that the measures are necessary for national security.
(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Robert Birsel)
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