The Latest: Turkey says 8,777 personnel fired


ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on the attempted military coup in Turkey (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

Turkey’s state-run news agency says the Interior Ministry has sacked close to 9,000 personnel across the country, following Friday’s foiled coup attempt. Anadolu Agency says a total of 8,777 employees attached to the ministry were dismissed, including 30 governors, 52 civil service inspectors and 16 legal advisers. Other media reports said police and military police officers and coast guards were also removed from duty. The government has blamed the failed coup — which led to at least 294 deaths and wounded 1,400 others — on supporters of a U.S.-based Muslim cleric who has become President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief opponent.

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4:40 p.m.

Germany’s military says reconnaissance jets supporting the mission against the Islamic State have resumed their flights from an air base in Turkey.

The military told the dpa news agency that two Tornado reconnaissance jets and a tanker flew missions Monday morning from the Incirlik air base. They were the first missions they had flown since Turkey restricted flights in the wake of a failed coup Friday night.

The Bundeswehr says naval patrols it has been operating off the coast of Turkey in the Aegean as part of a NATO mission to try and stop the smuggling of refugees across to Greece were not affected by the coup attempt.

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4:30 p.m.

Turkey’s state-run news agency says a total of 103 generals and admirals have been detained for questioning across Turkey over the failed coup.

Anadolu Agency says Monday that 41 of them have been ordered jailed pending trial so far.

Earlier, the agency said prosecutors in Ankara were questioning 27 generals and admirals, including former Air Force commander Gen. Akin Ozturk, who has been described as the ringleader of the foiled uprising.

Ozturk, who remained in active duty, has denied he was involved and insisted he worked to quell the uprising in statements he made to Turkish media.

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2:55 p.m.

The Ankara governor’s office says a military officer was detained after he shot and killed the driver of a vehicle that he hijacked.

In a brief statement Monday, the governor’s office said the officer — whom it described as being mentally disturbed — was caught by the security forces following a brief shootout.

It was not immediately clear if the incident was related to Friday’s failed coup attempt by a faction within Turkey’s military.

Earlier, news reports said police detained a man in front of the courthouse in Ankara after a series of shots were fired.

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2:20 p.m.

Turkey’s prime minister has rejected accusations that his government is concentrating all efforts on dealing with the aftermath of a failed coup, weakening its ability to counter foreign or terrorist threats.

Binali Yildirim told reporters at the end of a cabinet meeting that Turkey is “strong enough to eliminate multiple threats at the same time.”

Yildirim said: “Turkey is a great country with 100 years of experience.”

The Turkish premier also insisted that Friday’s failed coup had no major economic impact.

“Our banks, our bourses are working. Our central bank is on top of its duties. Any changes in economic indices are normal and no different from fluctuations recorded on normal days.”

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2:10 p.m.

Germany says the failed coup in Turkey has had no impact on the deal between the European Union and Turkey to cut the arrival of migrants by sea.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said Monday the EU will continue to fulfill its part of the deal including giving financial support to refugees living in Turkey.

Spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin that the migrants deal is in the interest of both the EU and Turkey, and that Germany expects Turkey to continue adhering to it.

More than 1 million migrants reached Europe last year from the shores of Turkey. A recent deal between the bloc and Turkey to return all migrants coming to Europe from Turkey has reduced the number of arriving migrants tremendously.

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1:30 p.m.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says a total of 232 individuals were killed during a failed coup attempt.

Speaking on Monday, he said the toll comprises “208 martyrs” — in reference to government supporters — and 24 coup plotters.

With a cracked voice and tears, he repeated a question his grandson had put to him: “Why are they killing people?”

Earlier, government and military officials had put the fatalities in the anti-government camp at 104. The prime minister did not explain the discrepancy.

He said the pro-government dead were 145 civilians, 60 police officers and three soldiers.

The prime minister also said 50 coup backers and 1,491 government supporters were wounded in the unrest.

He put the total numbers of detentions since Friday’s tumultuous night at 7,543, including 6,030 military.

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1:05 p.m.

Germany says negotiations for Turkey to join the European Union would end if the Turkish government decides to revive the death penalty following a failed coup.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin Monday that the EU is a “community of values, therefore the institution of the death penalty can only mean that such a country could not be a member.”

For the moment, he says that Germany and other EU countries are watching the internal Turkish debate on whether to institute the death penalty, but that the EU’s position is clear.

“We categorically reject the death penalty and an institution of the death penalty would mean an end to the negotiations to join the EU,” he said.

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12:35 p.m.

The European Union and United States say Turkey must respect democracy and human rights in its response to a failed coup.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says rule of law must prevail in Turkey at a time the government is rounding up suspects. She said Washington and Brussels agree on the need for Turkey to respect democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Mogherini spoke Monday at a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, after Kerry met the bloc’s 28 foreign ministers.

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12:25 p.m.

The European Union commissioner negotiating with Turkey on its accession bid believes the Turkish government is exploiting the failed coup to target internal opponents.

Johannes Hahn said Monday it appears Turkey’s government “prepared” arrest lists before the weekend coup attempt and had been waiting for the right moment.

Hahn said of the government’s post-coup response: “It is exactly what we feared.” He spoke before a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

Turkey has detained some 6,000 people. They include hundreds of judges and prosecutors, and more than two dozen generals.

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12:20 p.m.

Turkey’s state-run news agency says the Interior Ministry has sacked close to 9,000 personnel across the country, following Friday’s foiled coup attempt. Anadolu Agency says a total of 8,777 employees attached to the ministry were dismissed, including 30 governors, 52 civil service inspectors and 16 legal advisers.

Other media reports said police and military police officers and coast guards were also removed from duty. The government has blamed the failed coup — which led to at least 294 deaths and wounded 1,400 others — on supporters of a U.S.-based Muslim cleric who has become President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief opponent.

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12:15 p.m.

Turkey’s state-run news agency says prosecutors have begun questioning 27 generals and admirals over the failed coup attempt.

The Anadolu Agency says Monday the group questioned by prosecutors in Ankara includes former Air Force commander Gen. Akin Ozturk, who has been described as the ringleader of the foiled uprising.

Ozturk, who remained in active duty, has denied he was involved and insisted he worked to quell the uprising in statements he made to Turkish media.

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11:00 a.m.

Eight Turkish military personnel who landed in Greece in a helicopter during a military coup in Turkey are to appear in court in the northern Greek city of Alexandroupolis, charged with illegally entering the country.

They are likely to request a one- or two-day postponement during Monday’s court appearance. Turkey is seeking their return, and all eight have requested asylum in Greece.

The eight landed in Alexandroupolis Saturday after issuing a distress call and requesting permission for an emergency landing. Their lawyer, Vassiliki Ilia Marinaki, has said her clients say they knew nothing about the coup and that the helicopter had been used to transport wounded. They say that shortly after finding out about the coup, they came under fire from the police and feared for their lives.

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10:20 a.m.

Saudi-owned broadcaster Al-Arabiya says Saudi authorities detained Turkey’s military attache to Kuwait while he was at the airport in the eastern Saudi city of Dammam.

Quoting unnamed sources, the Dubai-based broadcaster said Monday that the attache, Mikail Ihsanoglu, was on his way to Düsseldorf, Germany via Amsterdam when he was detained.

The official Saudi Press Agency meanwhile reported that Saudi King Salman, who is vacationing in Morocco, called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to “congratulate him on Turkey’s return to normality” after an attempted military coup.

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9:45 a.m.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief says foreign ministers on Monday will send a “strong message” that the rule of law and the democratic system of checks and balances must be respected in Turkey following the failure of a military putsch.

Federica Mogherini, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, spoke before a meeting of the bloc’s foreign affairs ministers in Brussels. The ministers will also be meeting for breakfast with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders says Turkish authorities’ reaction to the failed coup needs to be “proportionate.” He says he was alarmed by the arrests of judges and calls for reinstatement of the death penalty against coup participants.

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9:30 a.m.

Warplanes have patrolled Turkey’s skies following a failed coup, a sign that authorities fear the threat against the government is not yet over.

A senior official said Monday that F-16 jets guarded the Turkish airspace overnight, after a faction within the military launched an attempted coup late Friday against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules.

The coup plotters sent warplanes firing on key government installations and tanks rolling into major cities, but the rebellion was quashed by loyal government forces and masses of civilians who took to the streets. At least 294 people were killed and more than 1,400 wounded.

The state-run news agency, Anadolu, said Erdogan ordered the overnight patrol by F-16s.

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