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Police officer suspended due to Gülen links commits suicide

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A police officer who was suspended from his job due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement committed suicide on Saturday shortly after he was asked to turn in his police ID and service revolver.

Police officer Sadullah K. committed suicide with his service revolver at the police station in the Anatolia Courthouse in İstanbul’s Kartal district on Saturday after he was informed that he had been suspended from the job as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.

Sadullah K.’s body was sent to the İstanbul Council of Forensic Medicine for an autopsy.

Turkey’s National Police Department has suspended thousands of police officers due to alleged Gülen links since a failed coup attempt on July 15.

Some 25 people have reportedly committed suicide either after they were imprisoned over ties to the movement or after being linked to the movement outside prison. Some of these suicides have been found to be suspicious.

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. 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 115,000 people have been purged from state bodies and 41,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.

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