739 fired police officers suspected of Gülen links returned to duty

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Seven hundred thirty-nine police officers who were dismissed from their jobs due to suspected links to the faith-based Gülen movement, accused by Turkish government of orchestrating a failed coup attempt last July, have been returned to duty, the Diken news website reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, investigations revealed that the 739 police officers of varying ranks are not linked to the movement.

After the approval of Interior Affairs Minister Süleyman Soylu, the police officers were reinstated to their jobs.

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 Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, 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.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15.

According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt.

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