ANKARA – Turkey has suspended or dismissed some 300 naval officers as part of a government crackdown on people suspected of having ties to a failed military coup in July this year.
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, PressTV reported.
The firings and suspensions included 168 commissioned and 123 non-commissioned officers. Another 15 commissioned and four non-commissoned officers were fired, the Turkish Defense Ministry announced yesterday.
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.
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.