Turkey develops profiling software to identify allegedly Gülen-linked officers in Turkish military

A software program has been developed to facilitate the profiling of members of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) as part of Turkish government’s massive and paranoid post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement and its bid to discharge those military officers who are sympathetic to the ideas of Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen from the military.

Pro-government Hurriyet dail has reported on Wednesday that the software is reportedly built upon a scoring system that gives negative points to army members who have conducted additional foreign missions, have received disciplinary notes, have benefited from suspiciously rapid promotions, or have previously been appointed to duties concerning student admissions and student grading.  “Privileged positions and conspicuous exam grades” are reportedly marked as negative score in the software.

With background searches for all military staff ongoing, the move aims to identify lower-ranking soldiers who have alleged links to the Gülen movement, following the recent Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) meeting. In the new software program, names are given scores and their personal backgrounds are assigned color codes of yellow, green and red. Green is positive, yellow in inconclusive, and red is negative. According to the labels, names that are categorized under yellow or red labels will undergo further investigations.

According to official account, 8,651 military officers took part in the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 corresponding to 1.5 percent of the total military personnel in the Turkish Army. Of those 1,761 were private conscripts, 1,214 were military students, and 5,761 were officers and non-commissioned officers. However,  169 generals and 6,810 colonels and officers of lower ranks were arrested for the coup? The General Staff’s release dated September 9, 2016 stated that the number of military staff purged from the TSK was 21,320.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President 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 them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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