(Fixes typo in headline)
* Western allies fret about scope of crackdown
* Turkey dismisses fears, says coup threatened state
* Some may be unfairly accused by media, president says
By Daren Butler
ISTANBUL, Sept 8 Turkey jailed 16 businessmen
pending trial on Thursday and issued arrest warrants for dozens
of military officers over alleged links to the U.S.-based cleric
blamed by Ankara for July's attempted coup, Turkish media said.
Authorities have already detained tens of thousands of
people over links to the cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who denies any
involvement in the failed putsch. The crackdown has alarmed
Western allies and rights groups who fear a witch hunt.
Turkish officials have rejected concern that their actions
are too heavy-handed, pointing to the gravity of the coup plot.
Rogue soldiers commandeered fighter jets and tanks and attacked
parliament in the failed putsch, killing more than 240 people.
Among those in custody was Faruk Gullu, owner of a chain of
shops selling baklava, a traditional Turkish pastry. He is
accused of belonging to what Ankara terms the "Gulenist
Terrorist Organisation" (FETO), state-run Anadolu Agency said.
The Istanbul court was continuing to question 21 more
businessmen, including Gullu's brother Nejat, who runs a rival
chain of baklava shops, and leading clothing maker Omer Faruk
Kavurmaci, the agency said.
They were among 80 suspects detained by police three weeks
ago as part of the investigation. Of that number, 43 have been
released subject to judicial monitoring, meaning they could
still face prosecution.
Separately, Istanbul prosecutors issued detention orders for
six generals, 43 other officers and some civilians in a police
operation extending across 15 provinces, Anadolu reported. Four
suspects have been detained so far, the agency said.
A day earlier, police detained three journalists, a
politician and a pollster and issued arrest warrants for another
105 people over suspected links to Gulen.
Opposition politicians said the latest wave of arrests may
target government critics with no clear links to the religious
movement led by Gulen, whom Turkey wants extradited.
Several thousand soldiers have been expelled from the army
and more than 100,000 people, including civil servants,
bureaucrats, teachers, soldiers and journalists, have lost their
jobs for alleged links with Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed
exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999.
President Tayyip Erdogan addressed concern about the
handling of the purge in comments published on Wednesday,
acknowledging the wrong people may sometimes be targeted and
that media speculation about those involved may be misleading.
"They make comments (on TV) accusing people who have nothing
to do with this business. But that person is stuck with that
label. Such things are not right," he told reporters, according
to Hurriyet newspaper.
(Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Edmund Blair, Larry King)