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1,076 soldiers purged from Turkish military over Gülen links since end of state of emergency

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A total of 1,076 military members have been dismissed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement since the end of a state of emergency declared after a 2016 coup attempt, the state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.

According to Defense Ministry sources who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, 624 members of the land forces, 107 from the naval forces and 345 air forces members have been relieved of duty.

Turkey accuses the Gülen network, a faith-based movement, of orchestrating the abortive putsch, although it strongly denies any involvement.

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Wednesday said that “[the ministry] and the Turkish Armed Forces are decisively continuing their battle” with the movement.

“The fight is being carried out with attention and precision in line with the criteria determined by all force commanders, headquarters, unions and institutions as a whole and is continuing as new information and documents are published.”

Akar said the purge was making the Turkish military stronger and more effective.

During the state of emergency, which ended in July 2018, over 5,000 military members including high-ranking generals were purged from the army under government decrees.

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