Turkey to shut down presidential guard

Turkey's Prime Minister says the presidential guard will be abolished after some of its members were involved in failed coup attempt.

Ben Ariel,

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim

Turkey's Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, on Saturday said the presidential guard regiment will be abolished after some of its members were involved in last weekend's failed coup attempt, the Xinhua news agency reported.

"There will no longer be a presidential guard, there is no purpose, no need," Yildirim was quoted as having said in a televised interview with the local A-Haber TV.

At least 283 of the presidential guard regiment members have been detained in the wake of the failed coup, and Turkey on Friday issued arrest warrants for another 300 members of the presidential guards.

The military bases across Turkey will be moved out of city centers, the prime minister said in Saturday's interview, adding that Turkish gendarmerie will be connected to the interior ministry.

The total of detainees in the coup attempt stands at to 13,002, including 1,329 policemen, 8,831 military officials, 2,100 judges and prosecutors, according to the prime minister.

During the interview, Yildirim said Turkey does not plan to extend the emergency rule announced this past week by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan beyond a period of three months, but will do so if necessary.

The Turkish government has claimed the failed coup was organized by followers of Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Muslim cleric who used to be an ally of Erdogan's before the two had a fall out.

Gulen has denied any connection to the coup and has hinted that it might have been staged by Erdogan himself, but also indicated that he would cooperate if the United States were to extradite him.