Twelve active-duty noncommissioned officers at Turkey’s Air Forces Command have been detained as part of an operation against followers of the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup on July 15, 2016, the T24 news website reported on Thursday.
Detention warrants were issued by the Konya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office for 15 noncommissioned officers who are alleged members of the Gülen movement. Twelve of the officers were detained on Thursday across three provinces including Amasya and Diyarbakır as part of the Konya-based operation.
Police continue to search for the remaining three officers.
The Turkish government has dismissed over 40,000 military personnel including gendarmes and military cadets over alleged links to the movement since the failed coup, the TR724 new website reported last August.
Immediately after the abortive 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.