Turkey has dismissed 18,630 military members since failed 2016 coup: ministry

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ISPARTA, TURKEY - OCTOBER 12 : President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) views soldiers parading during the badge ceremony of specialized sergeant commando trainees at Counter Terrorism School and Training Center Command in Isparta, Turkey on October 12, 2018. AFP PHOTOS

A total of 18,630 military members have been dismissed from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) due to alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement since a coup attempt in July 2016, according to a spokesperson from the Defense Ministry, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Turkey accuses the movement of orchestrating the failed coup, although it strongly denies any involvement.

“A total of 3,599 of them were dismissed this year,” Nadide Şebnem Aktop told a press conference at the ministry’s office in Ankara, adding that 982 retired military members were stripped of their pension rights.

Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop announced on Wednesday that 30,441 police officers have been removed from their jobs due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup.

Turkey fired some 140,000 public servants in the aftermath of the failed coup due to alleged ties to terrorist organizations.

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