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Foreign minister says 350 diplomats dismissed from ministry over Gülen links

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Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has announced that a total of 350 diplomats have been dismissed from his ministry over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement since a failed coup attempt on July 15.

Responding to a parliamentary question from Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu, Çavuşoğlu said 408 ministry personnel, 350 of whom are diplomats, have been dismissed from their posts through government decrees issued in the aftermath of the failed coup attempt on July 15.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Despite Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, whose views inspired the movement, and the movement having denied the accusation, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched 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 115,000 people have been purged from state bodies, in excess of 90,000 detained and over 41,000 have been arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian. Critics argue that lists of Gülen sympathizers were drawn up prior to the coup attempt.

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