Turkey dis­misses 1,389 mil­i­tary per­son­nel

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

TURKEY has dis­missed 1,389 per­son­nel from the army for sus­pected links to Fethul­lah Gulen, a US-based busi­ness­man it blames for a failed coup at­tempt, the state-run Anadolu Agency re­ported.

The an­nounce­ment yes­ter­day came hours af­ter Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan said he planned to in­tro­duce sev­eral changes to the mil­i­tary, in­clud­ing shut­ting train­ing acad­e­mies.

“We are go­ing to in­tro­duce a small con­sti­tu­tional pack­age [to par­lia­ment] which, if ap­proved, will bring the Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Or­gan­i­sa­tion (MIT) and chief of staff un­der the con­trol of the pres­i­dency,” the AFP quoted Er­do­gan as say­ing.

Er­do­gan added that “mil­i­tary schools will be closed . . . and a na­tional mil­i­tary univer­sity will be founded” as part of a wide-rang­ing shake-up of the mil­i­tary.

He also said that in fu­ture the heads of the land, sea and air forces would have to re­port di­rectly to the de­fence min­is­ter, Fikri Isik.

The pres­i­dent has blamed in­tel­li­gence fail­ures for the failed coup and said he was un­happy with in­for­ma­tion he re­ceived from the MIT and its chief Hakan Fi­dan on the night of the coup, com­plain­ing that valu­able time had been lost.

Er­do­gan also said a three-month state of emer­gency de­clared in the wake of the coup could be ex­tended.

“If things do not re­turn to nor­mal in the state of emer­gency then like France we could ex­tend it,” Er­do­gan said, re­fer­ring to a sim­i­lar move in France af­ter a string of at­tacks there.

The pres­i­dent said that un­til now 18,699 peo­ple had been de­tained since the coup, with 10,137 of them placed un­der ar­rest.

Thou­sands of the de­tained have now been re­leased, with an Is­tan­bul court free­ing 758 sol­diers late on Fri­day, adding to another 3,500 former sus­pects al­ready freed.

Gulen was a one-time ally of Er­do­gan but the two fell out in re­cent years over a num­ber of pol­icy is­sues and per­sonal clashes, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials, re­ports and in­sider ac­counts.

The gov­ern­ment has vowed to “cleanse” the civil ser­vice of his sup­port­ers. — Al Jazeera

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