/ 271/ Turkish officers arrested for belonging to the Gulen group

BAGHDAD, Turkish Attorney-General in Istanbul issued arrest warrants for 271 officers on charges of links to the Fatahullah Gulen group, which Ankara accuses of orchestrating a coup attempt two years ago.

Most of those facing arrest are serving soldiers, including 10 colonels, and there is also a retired general among the suspects, the Star newspaper reported.

The anti-terrorist police in Istanbul began the operation at around 5:00 a.m, it added.

The United Nations Office for Human Rights has said that such operations have occurred frequently since the attempted coup, and the Turkish authorities have arrested about 160 thousand, and have almost the same number of their public posts since then.

Of this number, the authorities have formally charged more than 50,000 people who have been in detention pending trial.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government accuses cleric Fathullah Gulen of plotting a coup in 2016, which Gulen strongly denies.

Critics accuse President Erdogan of exploiting the coup attempt as a pretext to crush the opposition, while Ankara confirms that the measures are necessary to overcome threats to national security.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency