ANKARA, Sept 28 – Turkey may have to build new courthouses to cope with thousands of prosecutions over July’s failed coup, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Wednesday, as the number of arrests reached 32,000.
Authorities have detained or sacked people from across local government, the military, the media and the judiciary, and asked the United States to deport cleric Fethullah Gulen, accusing him of organising the aborted uprising.
“We will build new courthouses as needed,” Bozdag told private broadcaster NTV in comments aired live.
He said did not expect mass trials with “thousands of defendants” and added that some of the 32,000 people in custody over links to Gulen could be freed as the legal process advanced.
U.S. officials have promised to respond to the extradition request for Gulen in a couple of days, he added.
Washington has said it is cooperating with Ankara and asked its NATO ally for patience as it processes the extradition request for the 75-year-old preacher.
Gulen, a former ally of President Tayyip Erdogan now branded a terrorist by Ankara, denies any involvement.