Turkey removes 8,000 security personnel in latest purge

Turkey removes 8,000 security personnel in latest purge
2 min read
02 September, 2016
Turkish authorities have continued the clampdown on suspects involved in the failed July 15 coup, with some 8,000 security personnel removed on Thursday.
A total of 7,669 security officers were removed along [Getty]

Nearly 8,000 Turkish security personnel were relieved of duty on Thursday, according to state media, as Ankara’s purge against suspected coup-plotters continued.

A total of 7,669 police were removed along with 323 personnel in the gendarmerie, which looks after domestic security.

Nearly 520 people were also removed from the religious affairs directorate, according to the official gazette.

On Thursday, 543 prosecutors and judges had been dismissed as part of the investigation into those linked to US-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen – who is accused of masterminding the plot - and his movement, bringing the total of those removed from the judiciary to 3,390, NTV channel reported.

The gazette also decreed that any judge or prosecutor who voluntarily retired could apply to return within the next two months.

Another 820 military personnel - not including generals or admirals - were dismissed, the defence ministry said earlier on Thursday, quoted in Turkish media, with 648 of those under arrest.

A total of 4,451 military personnel have been dismissed since July including 151 generals and admirals.

Turkey accuses US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen and his Hizmet (service) movement of ordering and conducting the failed putsch which left 240 dead excluding 24 coup-plotters.

Ankara also accuses him of running a "parallel state" and his followers of infiltrating state institutions.

Gulen strongly denies all accusations and has resisted extradition since the July 15 failed coup.

Turkey embarked on an all-out purge of state bodies in the wake of the coup to rid the country of what Erdogan calls the "virus" of Gulen's influence.

Since the attempt, tens of thousands within the judiciary, military, education system and police force have been removed, detained or arrested after being accused of having links to the movement or the coup itself.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said last month 40,000 people had been detained with more than 20,000 remanded in custody. 

Nearly 80,000 civil servants have been suspended, he said, while around 5,000 have been dismissed.