Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Tuesday 16,000 people have been formally arrested and remanded in custody in connection with last month’s failed coup attempt, while another 6,000 detainees were still being processed.
Another 7,668 people were under investigation but were not currently detained, he said in an interview with state-run Anadolu Agency, broadcast live on Turkish television channels.
Turkey has detained, removed or suspended tens of thousands of people in the judiciary, military, police, public service and elsewhere over alleged links with the abortive July 15 putsch, when a faction of the military tried to oust President Tayyip Erdogan and the government.
More than 240 people were killed and nearly 2,200 people were wounded when a faction of the military commandeered fighter jets, military helicopters and tanks, opening fire on civilians as they attempted to overthrow the government.
Since the coup bid, soldiers, police, judges, journalists, medics and civil servants are among those who have been removed or arrested, prompting concern among Western allies that Erdogan is using the events to tighten his grip on power.