Turkey detains 73 academics

Police detained 73 academics at Yildiz Teknik University in Istanbul on Friday as part of an ongoing crackdown in the wake of the July coup attempt by a faction in the military.

The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office said the 73 were part of the 103 academics it issued warrants for as some of the suspects in the last part of the probe.

It said their arrest was in part based on information that the academics had used ByLock, an instant messaging application.

The office said that government saw the app as a tool that was used by Gulenists in the period before the coup attempt.

The government blames the coup attempt on Fethullah Gulen, a preacher based in the U.S, who was once allied with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and has launched mass arrests and purges of his alleged followers.

Gulen has since denied the charges.

The government has dismissed tens of thousands of civil servants and more than 20,000 from the military including cadets.

Moreover, some 35,000 people are jailed, while more than 6,000 have lost their jobs since the coup.

At the same time, the government has stepped up measures against other opponents, including media outlets and Kurdish groups, with more than 100 journalists behind bars along with 10 members of parliament from the pro-Kurdish peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

Ankara has taken over 34 local governments in the mostly Kurdish south-east of the country, deposing elected mayors on terrorism charges.

The legal HDP denies links to armed groups and calls for a return to peace talks to end the conflict in the country.

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