Ex-Turkish air chief admits to coup plot

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Istanbul/Ankara—Former Turkish air force chief Akin Ozturk has confessed to prosecutors his role in plotting the coup that attempted to topple the government over the weekend, state-run Anadolu Agency said on Monday.
Further, an unknown assailant shot the deputy mayor of Istanbul’s Sisli district in the head on Monday and he was in a critical condition, Turkish broadcaster NTV reported.
NTV reported that the assailant had entered the office of deputy mayor Cemil Candas and then gun shots were heard.
Meanwhile, Turkey purged its police on Monday after rounding up thousands of soldiers in the wake of a failed military coup, and said it could reconsider its friendship with the United States unless Washington hands over a cleric Ankara blames for the putsch.
A senior security official told Reuters that 8,000 police officers, including in the capital Ankara and the biggest city Istanbul, had also been removed from their posts on suspicion of links to Friday’s coup bid.
Thirty regional governors and more than 50 high-ranking civil servants have also been dismissed, CNN Turk said.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said 7,543 people had so far been detained, including 6,038 soldiers. Work was under way to purge the civil service.
Turkey blames the failed coup on Fethullah Gulen, a cleric based in the United States who has a wide following in Turkey and denies any involvement.
Meanwhile, according to private broadcasters the former Turkish air force chief Akin Ozturk has not confessed to playing a role in a failed military coup that attempted to topple the government at the weekend, contradicting a state media report.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said earlier on Monday that Ozturk had confessed to helping to plot the coup. However, Haberturk and NTV cited what they said was his testimony to prosecutors, reporting that he denied playing a role.
“I am not someone who has planned or directed the coup attempt that was carried out on July 15 and I don’t know who did,” NTV cited him as saying in his testimony.—Reuters

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