Turkey widened a crackdown on suspected supporters of a failed military coup on Sunday, taking the number of people rounded up in the armed forces and judiciary to 6,000, and the government said it was in full control of the country and economy.Overnight, supporters of President Tayyip Erdogan rallied in public squares, at Istanbul airport and outside his palace in a show of defiance after the coup attempt killed at least 265 people.With expectations growing of heavy measures against dissent, European politicians warned Erdogan that the coup attempt did not give him a bank cheque to disregard the rule of law, and that he risked isolating himself internationally as he strengthens his position at home.Broadcaster NTV cited Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag as saying that more arrests were expected on top of the 6,000 people already detained.
Authorities have rounded up nearly 3,000 suspected military plotters, ranging from top commanders to foot soldiers, and the same number of judges and prosecutors after forces loyal to Erdogan crushed the attempted coup on Saturday.Among those arrested is General Bekir Ercan Van, commander of the Incirlik air base from which U.S. aircraft launch air strikes on Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, an official said.“Control across Turkey has been restored and there are no clashes at the moment,” a senior official said, adding that although a few groups of coup plotters were holding out in Istanbul, they no longer posed a risk.“There are still a few important soldiers on the run and being sought. I believe they will be captured shortly,” the official told Reuters.
The crackdown appears to intensify a longstanding push by Erdogan to root out the influence of followers of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.Erdogan accuses followers of Gulen, who was once an ally but is now his arch-enemy, of trying to create a “parallel structure” within the courts, police, armed forces and media with an aim to topple the state.The cleric denies the charge and says he played no role in the attempted coup, denouncing it as an affront to democracy.
Erdogan promised a purge of the armed forces even before the coup attempt was over. “They will pay a heavy price for this,” he said. “This uprising is a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army.”At a rally late on Saturday, his supporters demanded that the coup leaders be executed. “Let’s hang them!” chanted the crowd in Ankara’s central Kizilay square. Erdogan told them that parliament may consider a proposal to bring back the death penalty, which has been abolished.Erdogan’s critics say he will use the purge to create a pliant judiciary, eliminating any dissenting voices in the courts.
Some European politicians have expressed their unease about developments since the coup attempt.“We want the rule of law to work fully in Turkey,” said French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. “(The coup attempt) is not a blank cheque for Mr Erdogan. There cannot be purges, the rule of law must work,” told France 3 television.Ayrault said European Union ministers would reiterate on Monday when they meet in Brussels that Turkey – which has applied to join the bloc – must conform to Europe’s democratic principles.
European Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said Erdogan would move Turkey away from the core values represented by the EU and the NATO defense alliance – of which it is a long-standing member – if he decided to use the attempted coup to restrict basic democratic rights further.“He would strengthen his position domestically, but he would isolate himself internationally,” Oettinger, an ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, told Welt am Sonntag newspaper.Some European politicians are also expressing concern about the future of a deal between the EU and Ankara that has helped to slow numbers of migrants crossing from the country to neighboring Greece.
Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek took to Twitter to attempt to reassure investors that the Turkish government was in full control of the economy before financial markets opened on Monday.He said it had decided on “all necessary measures” after consulting with the central bank and treasury. He did not specify the measures.“The macro fundamentals of our country are solid. We are taking all necessary precautions. We are strong with the support of our people and strengthened political stability,” he said on Twitter, adding that he planned to hold a conference call with global investors on Sunday.
The central bank said it would provide unlimited liquidity to banks.Erdogan supporters waving Turkish flags also thronged the central Taksim square in Istanbul – scene of mass anti-government protests three years ago – and a smaller crowd gathered outside the gates of the his vast presidential palace complex in the capital.
For at least eight hours overnight on Friday violence shook Turkey’s two main cities. But the coup attempt crumbled as Erdogan rushed back to Istanbul from a Mediterranean holiday and urged people to take to the streets in support of his government against plotters he accused of trying to kill him.The violence shocked the nation of almost 80 million, once seen as a model Muslim democracy, where living standards have grown steadily for more than a decade and where the army last used force to stage a successful coup more than 30 years ago.It also shattered fragile confidence among Turkey’s allies about security in the NATO country, a leading member of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State. Turkey had already been hit by repeated suicide bombings over the past year and is struggling to contain an insurgency by Kurdish separatists.U.S. President Barack Obama has also urged parties on all sides of the crisis to avoid destabilizing Turkey and follow the rule of law.
A successful overthrow of Erdogan, who has ruled the country since 2003, would have marked another seismic shift in the Middle East, five years after the Arab uprisings erupted and plunged Turkey’s southern neighbor Syria into civil war.But the failed attempt could still destabilize the U.S. ally, which lies between Europe and the chaos of Syria.Gulen said the attempted overthrow may have been staged to justify a crackdown.
“As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations,” Gulen said in a statement.Erdogan called on the United States to extradite Gulen. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington was willing to help Turkey as it tries to identify those involved, but made clear it would act only if there was evidence against Gulen.Kerry also warned that public suggestions of a U.S. role were “utterly false” and harmful to relations after Turkey’s labor minister suggested there had been U.S. involvement in the plot.
Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted AK Party has long had strained relations with the military, which has a history of mounting coups to defend secularism although it has not seized power directly since 1980.His conservative religious vision for Turkey’s future has also alienated many ordinary citizens who accuse him of authoritarianism. Police used heavy force in 2013 to suppress mass protests demanding more freedom.Erdogan commands the admiration and loyalty of millions of Turks, however, particularly for raising living standards and restoring order to an economy once beset by regular crises.
Michigan officials and water experts on Friday proposed the state adopt what would be the nation’s strictest lead-testing rules in response to a water crisis in city of Flint that has fueled widespread public outrage.A committee put in place by the state to respond to the Flint crisis recommended a lowering of the level of lead in water at which action is required by public water systems.
Any implementation would be through a combination of statutory, rule and other changes, said Ari Adler, a spokesman for Governor Rick Snyder. The potential costs, financing and timeline are still to be determined, he said.Federal rules require action if lead levels top 15 parts per billion, but Michigan would reduce its threshold by 2020 to 10 parts per billion to align with World Health Organization standards, officials at the meeting held in Flint said.
The federal Lead and Copper Rule can only be altered nationally via federal action, according to a statement from the governor’s office. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told Congress on Wednesday that the agency would not have reforms ready until early 2017.“The federal Lead and Copper Rule needs to be improved immediately,” the governor said in a statement. “It’s dumb and dangerous and in Michigan we aren’t going to wait for the federal government to fix it anymore.”The committee also recommended that every public water system replace all lead service lines within 10 years.
Flint was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager when it switched the source of its tap water from Detroit’s system to the Flint River in April 2014 to save money.The city switched back last October after tests found high levels of lead in children’s blood samples. The water from the river was corrosive and leached more lead from the city pipes than Detroit water did. Lead is a toxic agent that can damage the human nervous system.
On Wednesday, Michigan lawmakers extended the state of emergency in Flint for four months, enabling the city to tap more state funds and coordinate a response with other authorities.Other recommendations by the Flint panel on Friday included annual lead testing for all schools, day care centers and other public facilities; disclosure of lead service-line status in all home sales and rental contracts; creation of water advisory councils for public systems to give residents a stronger voice; and better public notification when lead problems arise.
Novak Djokovic joined the tennis greats on Sunday when he downed British second seed Andy Murray 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-4 to claim his maiden French Open title and hold all four grand slams at the same time.The world number one recovered from a nervous start to impose his pace on Court Philippe Chatrier and clinch his 12th grand slam crown after three previous failures in a Roland Garros final.Djokovic is only the third man after Don Budge and Rod Laver to hold the four majors at the same time, and the eighth man to triumph at Wimbledon and the French, U.S. and Australian Opens.
“It’s a very special moment, possibly the biggest moment in my career,” the 29-year-old, who now has a 5-2 win-loss record against Murray in grand slam finals, said courtside.It looked like Djokovic got off to a dream start, taking Murray’s serve to love in the first game.But the Briton, who was playing his 10th final at a major, hit the ball early to set up three break points in the following game, converting the third with a fine lob. He held to love and then broke again, winning 16 of 20 points to lead 4-1.Tension threatened to boil over when Murray shouted “get him out”, pointing to a French TV interviewer who was in the player’s box, before Djokovic had an altercation with the chair umpire.As Murray was serving for the set, he was awarded a point to lead 30-0, Djokovic having hit his return before an ‘out’ call on the serve was made.
“The call was after you hit the ball. I’m 100 per cent sure,” Damien Dumusois told a frustrated Djokovic.Murray, who beat Djokovic in the Rome Masters finals on clay last month, went on to win the set when his opponent netted a backhand.He had a break point in the first game of the second set but that was as good as it got for the Scot.Djokovic, his aggression now channeled and matched by his accuracy, won the remaining games.
He raced to a 4-1 lead in the third set, breaking in the fifth game with a delicate angled drop shot that triggered chants of ‘Nole, Nole, Nole, Nole’ in the stands.There was no comeback in that set for the 29-year-old Murray, who then dropped serve in the opening game of the fourth set.Djokovic, who is now on a 28-match winning streak in grand slams, broke to love to lead 5-2. Murray pulled a break back but Djokovic shook off late jitters to win the title on his third match point when the Scot netted a backhand at the end of a nail-biting rally.
Front-runner Donald Trump said on Sunday that he will have essentially sealed the Republican U.S. presidential nomination if he wins Tuesday’s contest in Indiana, where he now holds a big lead over chief rival Ted Cruz.A new NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist opinion poll showed Trump with a wide lead in Indiana, 49 percent to 34 percent for Cruz and 13 percent for a third candidate, Ohio Governor John Kasich.Trump, a 69-year-old real estate developer, sounded confident in an interview on “Fox News Sunday” when asked whether Indiana would basically end the long-running Republican race in his favor.
“Yes, it’s over,” Trump said. “It’s already over.”The poll showed the depth of the challenge facing Cruz, a conservative U.S. senator from Texas who is trying to prevent Trump from winning the 1,237 delegates needed to seal the nomination.
Cruz’s hopes rest on emerging as a consensus alternative to Trump at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 18-21. Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 68, leads U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, 74, of Vermont in the race for the Democratic nomination.Trump, who has amassed 996 delegates, according to an Associated Press count, has momentum behind him and looks increasingly likely to win the nomination outright, without a contested convention, perhaps when California votes on June 7.
Indiana has 57 Republican delegates. Three are awarded from each of the state’s nine U.S. congressional districts with the candidate who receives the most votes taking them all. The 30 others are awarded to the candidate who wins the most votes statewide.On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Cruz said he has momentum in Indiana based on his choice of former candidate Carly Fiorina for his vice president and Friday’s endorsement by Indiana Governor Mike Pence.“I think the support we are seeing is surging,” Cruz said.
Cruz, 45, was pressed on whether he would support Trump if the New York billionaire is the Republican nominee. Cruz evaded the question each time and turned the questions into an attack on broadcast media.
“I recognize that many in the media would love to see me surrender to Donald Trump because that means that Hillary wins. The media has given $2 billion in free advertising to Donald Trump,” Cruz said.Americans will elect a successor to President Barack Obama on Nov. 8.
CLINTON URGES SANDERS QUIT
On the Democratic side, front-runner Clinton told CNN’s “State of the Union” that rival Bernie Sanders has been “helpful” in bringing millions of people into the party’s presidential race, but it was time for him to step aside.“There comes a time when you have to look at the reality,” said Clinton, who won four of the five Northeastern states that voted last Tuesday and who has a big lead in the delegate race ahead of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 25-28.
Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton and a former U.S. senator from New York, waved off Trump’s attacks on her. Trump has said Clinton would be getting little support if she was not a woman.“I have a lot of experience dealing with men who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak. I’m not going to deal with their temper tantrums or their bullying or their efforts to try to provoke me. He can say whatever he wants to say about me. I could really care less,” Clinton said.
Obama, appearing at his last White House Correspondents Association annual dinner on Saturday, savaged Trump for his foreign policy views, joking that he had learned them Miss Sweden and Miss Argentina from his years operating the Miss Universe competition.
A former reality TV show host, Trump said in his Fox interview that he was untroubled by the criticism and thought Obama did a “nice job” in his comedy routine.But he defended at length his views on foreign policy, which he outlined in a speech last week in Washington that drew criticism for sometimes contradictory views. Trump said he would move quickly to destroy Islamic State’s militancy, but would resist interventionist policies in order to focus on nation-building at home.Trump said “every move we made in the Middle East was wrong” over the past 15 years, with lives and money wasted. He said he would resist such policies.Asked whether the United States should return to working with “strongmen” leaders like the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Trump said: “Isn’t it too bad that we knocked him out in the first place?”
Garbine Muguruza achieved the rare feat of overpowering world Serena Williams to claim her maiden grand slam title with a 7-5 6-4 win over the world number one and defending champion in the French Open final on Saturday.The 22-year-old fourth seed, who lost to Williams in last year’s Wimbledon final, became the first Spaniard to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1998.
“This is the big tournament in Spain and Rafa (Nadal) is our champion,” she said courtside, referring to the nine-times men’s winner who pulled out injured last week.“She won the first set by one point. That just goes to show you you really have to play the big points well and I think she played the big points really well,” Williams said.Although her hard-hitting game seems more suited to faster surfaces, Muguruza won 14 consecutive sets en route to the final after losing her opening set of the tournament.An anxious player by her own admission, she managed her emotions on Court Philippe Chatrier, saving six of eight break points against Williams, who had only lost only four of her 26 previous major singles finals.It was Muguruza’s first final on the slow surface and she relied on a powerful first serve and jaw-dropping winners down the line to subdue the American in a battle of will.
Williams, who was gunning for a professional era record 22nd major title, got off to a solid start, winning her first service game to love and putting pressure on her opponent’s serve.In the fourth game, which lasted nine minutes, Muguruza saved a break point with an unreturnable forehand, then a second with an ace.An ugly double fault, however, earned Muguruza the first break of the match, which she consolidated by holding serve in the sixth game with a flat forehand winner down the line to lead 4-2.Williams, 34, stepped into the court and put Muguruza on the back foot, breaking back for 4-4 when Muguruza sent a backhand long.An unreturnable crosscourt forehand gave Muguruza another break. Serving for the set, she showed early nerves in the 12th game before converting her third opportunity with a sizzling backhand winner.A weak Williams backhand put Muguruza up a break in the second, only for the Spaniard to serve consecutive double faults as the American broke back for 1-1.But she unleashed another forehand down the line to regain the advantage and held for 3-1.Williams saved four match points to hold but on Muguruza’s fifth opportunity to seal the contest in the following game she landed a lob on the base line and sank to her knees in apparent disbelief at winning the title.