Turkish police on Wednesday arrested more than 1,000 people accused of ties to a US -based cleric blamed for a failed coup, in the latest mass crackdown of government opponents. Turkey's interior minister said earlier that the operation targeted the network's structure in the police force.
Turkey says that 47,000 people have been detained, including 10,700 police and 7,4000 members of the military.
"1,009 covert "imams" in 72 provinces have been taken into custody so far", the BBC said Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu had been reported as saying, adding that the minister claimed the police operation was an important step for Turkey. Warrants were issued for the detention of some 2,200 other suspects, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Following the failed coup in July in which 249 people died, police arrested more than 40,000 people and suspended 120,000 public service workers including soldiers, police officers, teachers and public servants over accusations of links to terrorist groups.
This week's purges also come shortly after Erdogan narrowly won a countrywide referendum that significantly consolidated his power, shifting Turkey from a parliamentary political system to one centered on a strong president.
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They are the latest indication there will be no let-up in the fight against Turkey's perceived enemies after the referendum, with fighter jets on Tuesday pounding Kurdish militant targets in Iraq and northern Syria.
The German government has criticized the detention of more than 1,000 people in Turkey as part of the probe into last year's coup attempt.
Turkish President Recap Tayyip Erdogan and his government have accused Gulen-who lives in exile in Pennsylvania-of orchestrating the coup and has demanded his extradition.
"In Turkey, there was an attempted coup with a goal of toppling the government and destroying the state", he said in a recent interview.