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Turkey’s top judicial body disbars 2 more judges over Gülen links

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Turkey’s Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) has disbarred two more judges due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement, Turkish media reported.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

The HSK’s decision on the judges, whom the HSK found to be affiliated with the Gülen movement without providing any details, was published in the Official Gazette on Tuesday. The judges, who used to serve in Adana and Giresun provinces, had been suspended due to alleged Gülen links and then disbarred when it was established that they had ties to the movement. The HSK said it would not be appropriate for the judges to continue to engage in the legal profession.

The HSK also refused to re-examine its decisions considering the earlier disbarment of two judges and one prosecutor due to alleged Gülen links.

More than 130,000 public servants, including more than 4,500 judges and prosecutors, were removed from their jobs during a two-year state of emergency imposed following the coup attempt under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. However, state agencies continue to fire public servants on the grounds that they have links to the Gülen movement.

Since the coup attempt, followers of the Gülen movement have been subjected to a massive crackdown, with the Turkish government and pro-government media outlets demonizing its members.

A total of 319,587 people have been detained and 99,962 arrested in operations against supporters of the Gülen movement since the coup attempt, Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced in November.

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