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Ankara has accused U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen of masterminding a failed coup earlier this year.

Turkey has suspended some 12,800 police officers over their alleged links to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Turkish national police said on October 4 that more than 2,500 of the suspended officers were police chiefs.

Tens of thousands of people have been dismissed or suspended from government jobs since July's failed coup, while some 32,000 people have been arrested in connection with the coup bid.

The Turkish government accuses Gulen of masterminding the coup, which he denies.

Ankara in turn rejects claims that it is using the coup as an excuse to get rid of its opponents.

On October 3, the government announced that a state of emergency imposed shortly after the coup attempt would be extended by three months when it expires on October 19.

The measure allows the president and cabinet to rule by decree.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP
Seitqazy Mataev, the chairman of Kazakhstan's Journalists Union, has been sentenced to six years in jail. (file photo)

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic has expressed concern over the "harsh sentences" handed down to two prominent media personalities in Kazakhstan.

In an October 4 statement, Mijatovic said the sentences could "pose a threat to media freedom" in the country.

Seitqazy Mataev, head of the Kazakh Journalists Union, and his son Aset, the director of the KazTAG news agency, were sentenced on October 3 to six and five years in prison, respectively.

Both have denied the charges of misappropriation of funds and tax evasion.

Mijatovic said the sentences could lead to the closure of the Kazakh Journalists Union and KazTAG, which she said "could be detrimental to media pluralism in Kazakhstan."

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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