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Police officers who resisted putschists purged over Gülen links

Murat Ellibeş (L) and Cüneyt Akkaya

Two police officers, one injured by putschists and the other detained by them during a July 15 coup attempt, have been purged over Gülen movement links under a new state of emergency decree issued by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government late on Friday.

Deputy Police Chief Murat Ellibeş, who was injured by soldiers in Tuzla during the coup attempt, was dismissed by the government, Habertürk reported on Saturday. According to the report, Ellibeş had also been rewarded with a letter of appreciation by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

Police Chief Cüneyt Akkaya, who stopped tanks and detained soldiers in Sakarya during the July 15 coup attempt, was suspended in an investigation against the Gülen movement.

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 the fact that Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, denied the accusation and called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the Turkish 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.

A report published by the German Focus magazine in August claimed that Turkish government members decided to put the blame for the coup attempt on Gülen half an hour after the uprising and agreed to begin a purge of Gülen followers the next day.

Over 123,000 people have been purged from state bodies, in excess of 83,000 detained and over 42,000 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.

Despite the huge purge, Turkish prosecutors have drafted 17 indictments against 1,200 people across the country on the grounds that they aimed to overthrow the government in the failed coup on July 15.

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