Turkey shuts down 3 news agencies, 16 TV channels, 45 papers and 15 magazines

By www.primenewsghana.com

The Turkish authorities have announced the closure of dozens of media organisations, as a crackdown continues following the failed coup on 15 July.

Three news agencies, 16 TV channels, 45 papers and 15 magazines will be shut.

Separately, nearly 1,700 members of the armed forces - including 149 generals and admirals - have been discharged.

 

The government says US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind the army-led attempted coup - a claim he denies. At least 246 people died during the coup.

More than 2,000 people were injured.

The closure of the media outlets and the dismissal of the members of the armed forces were announced in Turkey's official Resmi Gazete.

The names of the media organisations have not yet been officially released, but local media suggest that while most are relatively small, provincial outlets, several dailies and agencies with a national audience have also been targeted.

Among those discharged from the armed forces are 87 army generals, 30 air force generals and 32 admirals.

Earlier on Wednesday, the authorities ordered the detention of another 47 journalists - just several days after similar warrants were issued for 42 reporters.

Those on the new list were mostly members of the now defunct Zaman newspaper, Turkish officials were quoted as saying by local media.

The Turkish army also revealed that 8,651 members, or 1.5%, of the nation's armed forces took part in the failed coup.

It said the plotters had 35 planes, 37 helicopters, 74 tanks and three ships.

The purge continues ahead of an important meeting of the Supreme Military Council.

Separately, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already held talks with the leaders of the main opposition Republican and Nationalist parties.

They have warned him against taking the purge too far, but have not suggested that that point has already been reached, the BBC's Nick Thorpe in Istanbul reports.

President Erdogan has vowed to purge state bodies of the "virus" he says caused the revolt.

He launched a widespread crackdown, arresting thousands of service personnel and sacking or suspending thousands of judges, government officials, school teachers and university heads.

Human rights group Amnesty International says it has received credible evidence of detainees being subjected to beatings and torture, including rape, since the coup attempt.

Last week, Turkey declared a three-month state of emergency, allowing the president and the government to bypass parliament when drafting new laws and to restrict or suspend rights and freedoms according to the BBC.