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Making space for coup purge, Turkey starts to release 38,000 prisoners

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Turkey began freeing 38,000 prisoners on Wednesday, after announcing a penal reform that will make space for tens of thousands of suspects rounded up over last month’s attempted coup.

The reform was one of a series of measures outlined on Wednesday in two decrees under a state of emergency declared after the July 15 failed putsch during which 240 people were killed.

The government gave no reason for measure, but its prisons were already straining capacity before the mass arrests that followed the coup.

Western allies worry President Tayyip Erdogan, already accused by opponents of creeping authoritarianism, is using the crackdown to target dissent, testing relations with a key NATO partner in the war on Islamic State. – READ MORE

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