Turkey suspends, dismisses 300 naval personnel over coup attempt

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey, addresses the 71st session of the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN in New York City on September 20, 2016. His Turkish National Defense Ministry announced Sunday the suspension or firing of 300 Naval officers suspected of being involved in a failed coup attempt July 15. Photo by Monika Graff/UPI | License Photo

ANKARA, Turkey, Nov. 13 (UPI) — Some 300 Turkish naval officers have been suspended or dismissed as part of a government crackdown of people suspected of having ties to a failed government coup in July.

The Turkish Defense Ministry, which effected the suspensions and firings, announced them Sunday, PressTV reported.

Those accused of following U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen were the ones affected. Government officials in Ankara believe Gulen’s followers incited the July coup.

The firings and suspensions included 168 commissioned and 123 non-commissioned officers. Another 15 commissioned and four non-commissoned officers were fired.

More than 240 people died and another 2,200 others were injured during the coup attempt July 15, Middle East Monitor reported.

The announcement came just three days after 35 pilots were arrested,also for suspected links to the Gulen movement.

Bestami Tezcan, chief public prosecutor of Konya Province, had issued warrants for the arrest of 55 pilots, 54 who were serving, and a retired colonel, earlier in the day.

In all, the Turkish Defense Ministry has dismissed over 4,200 military personnel since the coup attempt, along with teachers, doctors, nurses and others suspected of having ties to Gulen.

Renegade Turkish military personnel declared themselves in charge of the nation on the evening of July 15. They rolled battle tanks down the streets and flew helicopters to fight those standing with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling AK Party in the capital Ankara and Istanbul.


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