Turkish Defense Ministry suspends 291 naval personnel over links to failed coup
ANKARAThe Turkish Defense Ministry suspended 291 naval personnel including 168 commissioned officers and 123 non-commissioned officers on Nov.13, over alleged links to the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, believed to have masterminded the failed July 15 coup attempt in Turkey, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
In addition, 15 commissioned officers and four non-commissioned officers were also dismissed.
Since the failed coup attempt, more than 110,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants were suspended or dismissed and 36,000 were formally arrested.
Suspensions from the Air Force caused a shortcoming in the number of pilots, which prompted the Turkish authorities to look for ways to recruit pilots.
Over 4,200 military personnel were dismissed by the ministry since the July 15 coup attempt that killed over 240 people and wounded scores.
The activities of a total of 370 associations in 39 provinces across Turkey were also terminated over their alleged links to terror organizations. Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş defended the closures, saying Turkey has to take measures against multiple terror threats.
“Yes, we are in a period of state of emergency, but we are acting within the legal limits afforded to us by the state of emergency,” he said, adding that any mistakes would be rectified.