Turkey arrests 32,000 people in coup probe



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

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Amitav Ghosh, University of Chicago Press

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Retail gloom

Online grocer Ocado revealed retail sales fell 5.7 per cen in its first quarter as customers switched back to pre-pandemic shopping patterns.

It was a tough comparison from a year earlier, when the UK was in lockdown, but on a two-year basis its retail division, a joint venture with Marks&Spencer, rose 31.7 per cent over the quarter.

The group added that a 15 per cent drop in customer basket size offset an 11.6. per cent rise in the number of customer transactions.

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The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

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Fujairah is a crucial hub for fuel storage and is just outside the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping route linking Middle East oil producers to markets in Asia, Europe, North America and beyond.

The strait is 33 km wide at its narrowest point, but the shipping lane is just three km wide in either direction. Almost a fifth of oil consumed across the world passes through the strait.

Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the strait, a move that would risk inviting geopolitical and economic turmoil.

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Etihad Airways flies from Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur, from about Dh3,600. Air Asia currently flies from Kuala Lumpur to Terengganu, with Berjaya Hotels & Resorts planning to launch direct chartered flights to Redang Island in the near future. Rooms at The Taaras Beach and Spa Resort start from 680RM (Dh597).

Story behind the UAE flag

The UAE flag was first unveiled on December 2, 1971, the day the UAE was formed. 

It was designed by Abdullah Mohammed Al Maainah, 19, an Emirati from Abu Dhabi. 

Mr Al Maainah said in an interview with The National in 2011 he chose the colours for local reasons. 

The black represents the oil riches that transformed the UAE, green stands for fertility and the red and white colours were drawn from those found in existing emirate flags.

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