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Thousands of soldiers to be purged from Turkish military, daily says

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An extensive investigation is ongoing in the Turkish military targeting thousands of soldiers over their alleged links with the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by Turkish authorities of being behind a failed coup last summer, the HaberTürk daily reported on Tuesday.

According to HaberTürk’s report, in addition to 9,000 already dismissed from the Turkish armed forces, “thousands of more staff” might be purged as part of investigations that were launched following the failed coup on July 15, 2016.

Prosecutors who are in charge of the probe conducted by the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office are investigating thousands of soldiers who had allegedly used ByLock, a smart phone application that authorities believe is a communication tool among Gülen movement followers, or who were promoted as a result of fraud in examinations.

Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt last July in which 249 people died.

Despite Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, whose views inspired the Gülen movement, and the movement having denied the accusations, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Over 138.000 people have been dismissed from their jobs, more than 106.000 were detained and nearly 53.000 jailed over alleged links to the movement.

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