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Turkey reinstates 9 jet pilots after detention, release over Gülen links

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Nine Turkish air force jet pilots who were detained over links to the Gülen movement, whose sympathizers are accused by the government of masterminding a deadly coup attempt on July 15, have been released and reassigned to their former duties, participating in aerial operations in Syria and Iraq, a military statement said on Saturday.

According to a statement by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), the reassignments came after the TSK said it was experiencing a shortage of personnel due to large-scale suspensions within its ranks.

The TSK and the Defense Ministry asked a chief public prosecutor’s office in early September whether they could re-employ the nine as they had been released on probation after being detained over links to the Gülen movement, a faith-based civil society movement inspired by the views of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

After receiving approval from the prosecutor, the TSK reassigned the pilots to aerial operations out of the Diyarbakır 8th Main Jet Base Command, both inside Turkey and in northern Iraq and Syria.

According to Turkish media, 264 pilots were dismissed from the TSK over links to the Gülen movement following the coup attempt.

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