Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Turkey Nabs 1K "Secret Imams" for Coup Effort; Erdogan Says They Tried to Topple Him in July

Turkish authorities said today (April 26, 2017) they had arrested more than a thousand "secret imams" who had infiltrated police forces on behalf of a U.S.-based cleric accused by President Tayyip Erdogan of trying to topple him last July, according to the Reuters website.

The nationwide sweep was one of the largest operations in months against suspected supporters of the Islamic cleric, Fethullah Gulen, a former ally of Erdogan. Gulen -- who lives in the U.S. -- denies any part in the unsuccessful coup led by military officers.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the overnight crackdown targeted a Gulen network "that infiltrated our police force, called 'secret imams.'"

Another 9,103 personnel from Turkey's police force were suspended April 26, police headquarters in Ankara said in a statement on its website, citing alleged links with Gulen's network.

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