Turkish Airlines (THY) says it has fired 26 more employees over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15.
The state-run company sacked the employees, including management, pilots and cabin crew, as part of a purge of state institutions.
The dismissals reportedly occurred on Tuesday.
According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, with the most recent dismissals, the total number of those sacked from THY has reached 237.
Only 10 days after the coup attempt in Turkey, on July 25, 2106, airline management fired 211 employees over alleged links to the movement. Turkish Airlines reported a net loss of $77 million in 2016, a complete reversal of a net profit of $1.7 billion for the previous year.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 which killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.
Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, 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 them in custody.
In the currently ongoing post-coup purge, over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of March 1, 93,248 people were being held without charge, with an additional 46,274 in pre-trial detention.
A total of 7,316 academics were dismissed, and 4,070 judges and prosecutors were purged over alleged coup involvement or terrorist links. (turkeypurge.com) March 16, 2017