Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Thursday to restructure the military and give it “fresh blood” as emergency rule took hold across the NATO member country after last week’s attempted coup.
Erdogan’s comments to Reuters in an interview – his first since announcing a state of emergency late on Wednesday – came as Turkey sought to assure its citizens and the outside world that the government was not turning its back on democracy and returning to the harsh repression of past regimes.
Erdogan accuses Fethullah Gulen, a charismatic US-based cleric, of masterminding the plot against him, which crumbled early on Saturday. In a crackdown on his suspected followers, more than 60,000 soldiers, police, judges, civil servants and teachers have been suspended, detained or placed under investigation.
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