167 more officers expelled from TSK due to alleged Gülen links

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AFP PHOTO / ILYAS AKENGIN

One hundred sixty-seven more officers have been expelled from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup on July 15, 2016, the T24 news website reported.

The officers were expelled from the TSK on Friday with the approval of Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who was chief of general staff at the time of the coup attempt.

Akar said as new documents and information emerge showing officers’ links to the Gülen movement, the necessary action is being taken against them and they are dismissed from the military.

Ninety of the officers were from the Land Forces Command, while 77 of them were from the Naval Forces Command.

With Friday’s dismissals, the number of officers who have been expelled from the TSK following the termination of a state of emergency in July 2018 has reached 486. The state of emergency, which was declared on July 20, 2016, remained in effect for two years, during which time more than 150,000 civil servants were removed from their jobs due to alleged Gülen links.

The Turkish government labels the Gülen movement a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

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