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27 Jul, 2016 19:10

Turkey orders shutdown of over 130 media outlets, dismisses 1,600 military personnel – broadcaster

Turkish authorities ordered the closure of more than 130 media outlets on Wednesday in a crackdown following July’s failed coup, Reuters reports, citing CNN Turk. Some 1,600 military personnel were also sacked in the Turkish government’s latest move.

The Turkish government shutdown three news agencies, 23 radio stations, 16 TV channels, 45 newspapers, 15 magazines, and 29 publishers and distributors in their crackdown on the media.

The army saw 1,684 soldiers discharged, according to the government decree cited by CNN Turk. The number includes 149 generals and admirals, amounting to nearly half of the high-ranking officers in the entire Turkish military, the Reuters reported.

In the wake of the coup attempt, Turkey is also planning to shut down all of the country’s military schools, Al Jazeera Turk reports, citing government sources. A decree is set to be released that will expel all military cadets from military high schools, but they will be able to continue their education at regular schools, according to the outlet.

Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish authorities ordered that 47 journalists from a formerly oppositional newspaper be detained. “Today's detentions cover executives and some staff including columnists of Zaman newspaper,” a government official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity, as cited by Reuters.

Emre Deliveli, economist and economics columnist, told RT that the ongoing state of emergency facilitates the government’s crackdown on media, adding that it could lead to many journalists being held in custody without any evidence of wrongdoing.

“They are going to try [journalists], some of them are going to be released… under the state of emergency people can be held up to one month without any reason,” Deliveli said, adding that “at least some of the people arrested are going to be charged with terrorism.”

Commenting on the ultimate goal of the media bans amid the “anti-terror” campaign, Deliveli argued that Erdogan aims to silence not only the so-called Gulenist newspapers, but the opposition and independent media as a whole.

“They can just continue with this and they could arrest more journalists and columnists associated with Zaman and Today’s Zaman. They could arrest other people who are not Gulenists, but who are kind of against the government, so they could use the opportunity to arrest anyone who is against the government,” Deliveli said.

According to the latest figures announced by the Turkish Interior Minister Efkana Ala, more than 15,000 people have been detained since the failed coup. A total of 8,113 people have been formally arrested and are awaiting trial.

The Turkish military confirmed on Wednesday that 8,651 soldiers had taken part in the failed coup.