16,540 military members dismissed over Gülen links: ministry

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) attends the graduation ceremony of 885 active duty officer candidates at National Defense University Turkish Military Academy in Ankara, Turkey on November 23, 2017. Turkish Presidency / Murat Cetinmuhurdar / Handout / Anadolu Agency

Turkey’s Defense Ministry on Monday announced that 16,540 military members have been dismissed as part of a post-coup crackdown targeting faith-based Gülen movement followers, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.

The judicial and administrative process is ongoing for 6,154 people, Col. Tamer Zincir told reporters at a press conference.

Ankara believes the Gülen movement orchestrated a 2016 coup attempt, although the movement denies any involvement.

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on March 29 said 16,294 soldiers were sacked by the military over Gülen links.

Turkey dismissed some 140,000 public servants during a two-year-long state of emergency declared immediately after the abortive putsch.

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