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Turkey dismisses over 40,000 military personnel, cadets since coup attempt

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The Turkish government has dismissed over 40,000 military personnel including gendarmerie and military cadets over alleged links to the Gülen movement since a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the tr724 new website reported on Saturday.

According to the report compiled from pro-government newspapers, the highest number of personnel have been dismissed from the Turkish Land Forces, with 8,201. The government has also purged 4,215 military personnel from the Turkish Air Forces and 2,592 military members from the Turkish Naval Forces.

In addition, a total of 16,409 military cadets consisting of 4,090 military high school students, 6,140 students from the Vocational School for Noncommissioned Officers and 6,179 undergraduate students at the Military Academy, the Naval War College, the Air War Academy, the Gülhane Military Medical Academy and the Nursing College were dismissed by the government.

Including purges in the Gendarmerie General Command, which is under the purview of the Interior Ministry, the total number of dismissals from the Turkish military and affiliated institutions has reached 40,000.

According to a Yeni Şafak daily report, 87 generals, 4,179 lower-ranking officers, 2,677 noncommissioned officers and 1,165 specialist and contracted soldiers were purged from the Turkish Land Forces. Together with the dismissal of 93 civilian employees, the total number of personnel dismissed from the Turkish Land Forces totals 8,201 since the coup bid in 2016.

The total number of military personnel dismissed from the Turkish Naval Forces is 2,592, including 31 admirals, 1,364 lower-ranking officers, 1,074 noncommissioned officers, 30 specialist soldiers and contracted soldiers and 84 civilian employees.

Despite the fact that the largest number of purges has been from the Land Forces, dismissals as a ratio of the size of the force have been the highest in the Air Forces, where a total of 4,215 military personnel were purged, including 32 generals, 2,059 lower-ranking officers, 1,993 noncommissioned officers, 73 specialized and contracted soldiers and 58 civilian employees.

Meanwhile, 23 staff members were purged from the General Staff and 211 from the Defense Ministry.

The total number of personnel purged from the Turkish military totals 15,242 if the reinstatement of some purged personnel is taken into account. The purged personnel consists of 150 flag officers, 7,602 lower-ranking officers, 5,744 noncommissioned officers, 1,277 specialist or contracted soldiers and 469 civilian employees.

It was also reported that 5,783 military members have been tried, including 3,434 from the Land Forces, 881 from the Naval Forces and 1,468 from the Air Forces.

Some 600 military members are still in pretrial detention, half of them from the Land Forces. A total of 466 Turkish military personnel, including 223 from the Land Forces, 143 from the Naval Forces and 100 from the Air Forces are still being sought, eight of whom are reportedly generals or admirals, 409 lower-ranking officers and 49 noncommissioned officers.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of orchestrating the coup attempt, although the movement strongly denies it. Since then more than 200,000 people have been investigated over Gülen links, the Justice Ministry said.

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