739 fired police officers suspected of Gülen links returned to duty

Seven hundred thirty-nine police officers who were dismissed from their jobs due to suspected links to the faith-based Gülen movement, accused by Turkish government of orchestrating a failed coup attempt last July, have been returned to duty, the Diken news website reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, investigations revealed that the 739 police officers of varying ranks are not linked to the movement. After the approval of Interior Affairs Minister Süleyman Soylu, the police officers were reinstated to their jobs.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s President autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting participants of the Gülen movement in jails.

At least 161,751 people were detained or investigated and 50,334 people were arrested in Turkey in the framework of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, according to statistics reported by state-run Anadolu news agency by basing on information taken from the officials from Turkey’s Justice Ministry on June 13. (SCF with turkishminute.com) July 6, 2017

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