Turkey’s Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday that a total of 233 members of the military have been expelled from their posts in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) due to their alleged links to the based-faith Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15.
Out of the 233 expelled military members, 158 of them are officers, 67 are noncommissioned officers and eight are specialized sergeants; 201 of them are from the air forces command and 32 are from the naval forces command, according to the Defense Ministry statement.
The number of military members expelled from the TSK since the failed coup attempt has reached 3,939 with the latest expulsions.
Turkey experienced a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.
Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup despite the lack of any tangible evidence.
Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
More than 100,000 people have been purged from state bodies, more than 70,000 detained and 34,000 arrested since the coup attempt.