Turkey's justice minister said more than 32,000 people have been arrested for suspected links to Fethullah Gulen, the self-exiled cleric in the United States whom Ankara blames for the July failed coup attempt.
Bekir Bozdag said on Turkish television on September 28 that 70,000 people have been investigated in the post-coup crackdown and 32,000 of them have been officially remanded into custody by Turkish courts.
“The process is continuing,” Bozdag said. Previously, the government had said about 10,000 people had been arrested.
Bozdag said the prospect of trying more than 30,000 people will test the Turkish legal system, adding that trials will take place across the entire country.
“It is not clear how the trials will be carried out,” Bozdag said.
Gulen, who lives in the United States, denies any involvement with the coup attempt.
Bozdag said that the United States has told Ankara it will respond to Turkey’s extradition request for Gulen within the next few days.
Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters