Istanbul // Turkey courts have placed 32,000 suspects under arrest on charges of links to a group run by the US-based preacher blamed for the failed coup bid in July, as the country braces for the most extensive trials in its history.
Of the 70,000 people investigated after the attempted putsch on July 15, 32,000 of them have been remanded in custody, justice minister Bekir Bozdag told NTV television on Wednesday.
“This process is continuing,” he said. The numbers of those arrested marks an increase of more than 10,000 from those previously given by the government.
Mr Bozdag said that there could be new arrests, while some of those currently arrested could still be freed under judicial control or freed entirely.
Some two-and-a-half months after the coup attempt aimed at ousting president Recep Tayyip Erdogan led to a crackdown unprecedented in Turkey’s modern history. There is still no indication as to when trials might start.
The trials of tens of thousands of people will be the biggest legal process in Turkey’s history and are set to put the system under unprecedented strain.
Turkey has already granted some 38,000 convicts early release in an apparent bid to create more space in cramped jails for the coup suspects.
* Agence France-Presse