PHOTO: Demonstrators hold up a portrait of Turkish President Erdoğan


UPDATE 1700 GMT: Turkish authorities have announced that 99 generals will be tried for involvement in the coup attempt.

The number is more than 25% of the 360 generals in Turkey’s army and air force.

Turkish media say an aide to the Chief of General Staff has confessed his allegiance to the coup.

Lt. Col. Levent Türkkan reportedly said:

I am a son of a poor family. My dad was a very poor farmer. We did not have any fields, private gardens. I first met with the Fethullah Gülen movement during my middle-school years. I was a bright and promising student….

I am a member of the parallel establishment. I am from the Gülen community … After I was brought to the aide-de-camp position at the General Staff, I started to execute the orders given on behalf of the community.

President Erdoğan has convened a meeting of the National Security Council.

Turkish State media says the Government will close 626 private schools and other establishments.

Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş has said the city ordered an area which will serve as a cemetery for the plotters of the coup attempt, since no existing burial place will take the bodies.

Topbas told demonstrators in Taksim Square:

I ordered a space to be saved and to call it “the graveyard for traitors. The passersby will curse the ones buried there.

Everyone visiting the place will curse them and they won’t be able rest in their graves.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: The purge of Turkey’s Government and public institutions continued on Tuesday, following last weekend’s failed coup, with more than 50,000 people now detained, fired, or suspended from their jobs.

Yesterday 15,200 staff in the Education Ministry personnel were suspended due to alleged links with the followers of the self-exiled cleric Fethullah Fethullah Gülen. Turkey’s Higher Education Board has demanded the resignation of all 1,557 deans on at State and universities, and the licenses of 21,000 teachers working in private institutions were canceled.

“Our ministry is carrying out extensive efforts aimed at public personnel in central and rural districts who have connections to FETÖ [the Gülen organization]. As of today, 15,200 public officials have been suspended and investigations were launched into them,” the Ministry said in a Twitter statement.

About 100 staff of Turkey’s intelligence service MIT were suspended on Tuesday, and the Prime Ministry suspended 257 personnel, including 230 judicial clerks, 19 specialists, six advisers, and two legal advisers.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told Parliament:

This parallel terrorist organization will no longer be an effective pawn for any country. We will dig them up by their roots.

Erdoğan’s Purge

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has acted quickly to remove all those whom he perceives as adherents of Gülen, whom he accuses of running “parallel institutions” in a “deep State” seeking to overthrow the Government.

Within 24 hours of the failure of the coup, more than 2,800 military personnel were detained. More than 100 generals and admirals have been questioned, and 41 imprisoned.

A judicial body dismissed more than 2,700 judges. Warrants were issued for 140 members of the Supreme Court and 48 from the Council of State.

By Monday morning, 7,899 police officers, 614 gendarmerie officers, 30 provincial governors, and 47 district governors had been suspended.

On Monday, 492 people were suspended from the Religious Affairs Directorate, including three provincial muftis, one head of department, and one directorate consultant. Almost 400 personnel were suspended from the Family and Social Policies Ministry and 16 from the Development Ministry.

Prime Minister Yıldırım also said that 1,500 officials in the Finance Ministry have been suspended, and former Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu is among 246 local officials who have been removed.

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched investigations into suspended personnel from the Interior Ministry for being Gülenist.

In a small step against the rush of detentions and suspended, 700 soldiers investigated for coup involvement were freed on Tuesday, according to Turkish authorities.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş told reporters that legal proceedings are now underway against 9,322 people.

Obama Calls Erdoğan

President Obama called Erdoğan on Tuesday, urging Ankara to show restraint, the White House said.

The statement said the status of Gülen, who lives in Pennsylvania, was also discussed. Erdoğan has demanded that Obama extradite the cleric.

See Turkey Feature: US and Ankara to Discuss Extradition of Erdoğan’s Enemy Gülen

The Pentagon said Defense Secretary Ash Carter and his Turkish counterpart discussed Incirlik Airbase, a prominent base in the American campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

Power has been cut to the base since last Friday. The US military said it has been able to maintain operations, using back-up sources.

The base, which is used by Turkish and U.S. forces in the air campaign against Islamic State, has been without power in the days since the failed coup.