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40 percent of top military commanders purged in post-coup period, report says

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One hundred thirty generals and admirals in the Turkish military were either dismissed or suspended as part of a widespread purge following a failed coup attempt in July of last year.

According to a story by the state-run Anadolu news agency on Sunday, NATO’s second largest standing military force now has 196 generals and admirals, down from 326 in July 2016.

The Turkish Land Forces had 10 four-star generals, 23 lieutenant generals, 50 major generals and 115 brigadier generals in July 2016. Their number had decreased to 7, 14, 21 and 76, respectively, as of May 2017.

Flag officers in the Turkish Naval Forces had numbered two admirals, four vice-admirals, 12 rear admirals and 66 commodores in July 2016. However, their numbers were two, five, six and 21, respectively, as of May 2017.

Finally, there were two four-star generals, eight lieutenant generals, 17 major generals and 45 brigadier generals in the Turkish Air Forces last year. Their numbers were two, six, three and 33, respectively, as of May 2017.

According to Anadolu, the number of commissioned officers dropped from 32,189 in 2016 to 24,705 in 2017, while the number of noncommissioned officers fell from 66,978 to 62,781 in the same period.

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

Turkish government accuses faith-based Gülen movement of being behind the failed coup.

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.

According to a tally by TurkeyPurge.com, 138,148 people, including some 10,000 soldiers, had been dismissed from their jobs, 115,827 were detained and 55,425 jailed over alleged links to the movement as of July 10.

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