Jan 20 2018

Turkey detains head of Turkish forces in Northern Cyprus

A Turkish court arrested the commander of the Turkish military forces in Northern Cyprus and his chief of staff on Friday, Turkish news channel CNNTürk reported.

General İlyas Bozkurt and Retired Colonel Erdal Dodurga of the Cyprus Turkish Peace Force Command were detained as part of the investigation against the July 2016 coup attempt, it said.

After being interrogated in Ankara by the Turkish police and prosecutor, Bozkurt and Dodurga was arrested on charges of attempting to overthrow the Turkish government.

The Turkish army invaded the island of Cyprus in 1974, following a Greek Cypriot coup attempting to unite the ethnically divided island with Greece by force. Turkey retains tens of thousands of troops in the northern part of the island for the security of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

The Turkish media reported earlier this month that dozens of army officials who did not take part in the coup attempt had been arrested after informants named them members of “FETÖ”, the label Turkish law enforcement uses for the Gülen Movement.

Turkey accuses U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen of masterminding the coup attempt, and considers the network of his followers the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation” or “FETÖ”.

Gülen denies any involvement.