Former Turkish Air Force Commander confesses to planning coup

Ankara: Former Turkish Air Force Commander Gen. Akin Ozturk has confessed to planning the foiled coup, state Anadolu Agency reported on Monday. Over 200 people died and 1,500 were wounded in the ensuing violence, and there have been mass arrests. The state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Gen Akin Ozturk as telling interrogators he had "acted with intention to stage a coup". But two private broadcasters said the general had denied playing a role, BBC reported. NTV quoted him as saying: "I am not someone who has planned or directed the coup attempt... I don't know who did." Anadolu said he was one of 112 generals and admirals who had been detained. Fifty had been remanded in custody pending trial, it added. The interior ministry also reportedly dismissed almost 9,000 police officers on Monday, as part of a purge of officials suspected of involvement, BBC added. That followed the arrest of 6,000 military personnel and suspension of almost 3,000 judges over the weekend. The government has blamed the coup attempt on supporters of a US-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen. Gulen has denied any involvement and suggested the coup may have been staged itself.