Turkish police have apprehended 47 people accused of participating in the 2016 failed military coup, CNN Turk reported Saturday.
This wave of arrests is part of a larger operation that began earlier this week, targeting 124 people accused of supporting US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan contends masterminded the 2016 attempted coup.
Erdogan declared a state of emergency five days after the July 15, 2016 failed bid to oust him from power.
An unprecedented purge that has seen some 55,000 arrested has taken place under the measure.Two years later, the state of emergency is still in effect.
However, Erdogan has pledged that he will lift the measure if he is re-elected in the upcoming election June 24.
The state of emergency has become a campaign issue in the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections, with the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Iyi (Good) Party vowing to end it.
“After June 24, if I am given the right to continue in office, our first step will be, God willing, to lift the state of emergency,” Erdogan said in an interview with 24 TV late Wednesday.
His comments came after CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu vowed that its candidate for the presidency Muharrem Ince would lift the state of emergency within 48 hours if elected.
Ince tweeted on Thursday: “After the elections I will take the oath and as I take office we will immediately lift the emergency.”
The emergency has been criticized by activists who say the measure has been used against all opponents of Erdogan and not just plotters in the coup, which Turkey says was masterminded by Gulen. Gulen denies the charge.