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Date TimeJune 19, 2018
VoiceTURKISH prosecutors have ordered the arrest of 124 people in an operation targeting alleged supporters of a US-based Islamic cleric accused of orchestrating an attempted coup in Turkey two years ago.

The crackdown comes as Turkey prepares for presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday and critics fear is part of a politically motivated move to bolster support for Recep Tayyip Erdogan who seeks another five-year-term despite seeing his popularity slump after 15 years in office.
Opinion polls reveal his approval rating has slipped to 48.3 percent from 50.1 per cent in elections in November 2015, and his AK Party (AKP) is in danger of losing its parliamentary majority.
Another Erdogan victory will bring wholesale constitutional reform that effectively wipes out the parliamentary system, hands huge powers to the president and abolishes the post of prime minister.
Turkey CRISIS: Arrest of 124 coup supporters ordered as Erdogan faces LOSING power
Opponents says the proposals sound the death knell for democracy and all the opposition candidates have pledged to revert to the parliamentary system.
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which is monitoring the elections, has raised concerns that the continuing state of emergency could “jeopardise the integrity of the process”.
And it is under the state of emergency that the warrants for the fresh arrests have been issued.
The suspects are accused of being followers of the preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara says was behind the failed coup on July 15, 2016.
They are alleged to have operated as religious guides for high-ranking military personnel in the run up the overthrow bid.
Turkey CRISIS: Arrest of 124 coup supporters ordered as Erdogan faces LOSING power
Turkey has detained 160,000 people and dismissed nearly the same number of civil servants since the coup attempt, the UN human rights office said in March.
Of that number, more than 50,000 have been formally charged and kept in jail during their trials.
Violence has marred the run-up to Sunday's elections with at least 21 opposition supporters injured in attacks from April 30 through June 5, according to a report by the Human Rights Association, a Turkish NGO.
The victims include four supporters of the Good Party who were stabbed last month at a campaign booth by members of a rival opposition party.
Turkey CRISIS: Arrest of 124 coup supporters ordered as Erdogan faces LOSING power
The Human Rights Association said other tactics used against activists during the campaign included bans on rallies or “interventions” such as preventing supporters from handing out flyers.
All but one of the 48 incidents cataloged in the report were aimed at opposition parties.
The violence has worsened recently, with four people killed last week in a clash during a campaign visit by an AKP candidate to the predominantly Kurdish southeast.

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