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Turkey shuts down media after coup

ANKARA (AFP) – Turkey on Wednesday said it was discharging 149 generals and ordering the closure of dozens of media outlets, in the next phase of its controversial crackdown in the wake of the failed coup.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who survived the biggest threat to his 13-year domination of the country when supporters countered the plotters on the streets, has blamed the July 15 coup on the reclusive US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen. The authorities have now embarked on a relentless campaign to eradicate every influence of Gulen from Turkish institutions in a crackdown that has shaken every aspect of life in Turkey and led to the detention of nearly 16,000 people.

Eighty-seven land army generals, 30 air force generals, and 32 admirals – a total of 149 – were being dishonorably discharged from the military over their complicity in the coup bid, a Turkish official said, confirming a government decree published in the official gazette. In addition, 1,099 officers and 436 junior officers have also received a dishonorable discharge, the decree added.

The closure was ordered of three news agencies, 16 television stations, 23 radio stations, 45 newspapers, 15 magazines and 29 publishers, the official gazette added.