Minister: 1,846 expelled from TÜBİTAK due to Gülen links

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Minister of Science, Industry and Technology Faruk Özlü

Minister of Science, Industry and Technology Faruk Özlü announced on Friday that a total of 1,846 people have been sacked from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBİTAK) due to their alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.

TÜBİTAK has around 4,500 employees.

In a statement on Friday Özlü said that 440 people were expelled from his ministry for the same reason.

The minister said the firing of employees at TÜBİTAK and the ministry began in February 2014 following the eruption of a corruption scandal in which senior government members were involved in late 2013.

Both for the corruption investigation and a failed coup attempt on July 15, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blames the Gülen movement, while the movement strongly denies any involvement in either.

In the currently ongoing post-coup purge, over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of March 1, 93,248 people were being held without charge, with an additional 46,274 in pre-trial detention.

A total of 7,316 academics were dismissed and 4,070 judges and prosecutors were purged over alleged coup involvement or terrorist links.

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