ANKARA (Hurriyet Daily News)—820 more military personnel have been dismissed from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), the Defense Ministry has announced, while the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen has ordered his followers to stay away from media outlets.
“The suspensions from the TSK are being carried out with meticulous efforts. The heroic soldiers, who are loyal to their nation and people, are performing their duties with success,” a tweet sent from the official Twitter account of the Defense Ministry read.
The personnel were dismissed over their links to the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), believed to have masterminded the failed July 15 coup attempt.
“The Turkish Armed Forces will continue its service and will be further strengthened as it is cleansed from FETÖ member traitors,” the statement also read.
According to the ministry, a total of 648 of the dismissed military personnel are currently under arrest, while the total number of dismissed personnel since the failed coup attempt has reached 4,451.
The 820 dismissed military personnel from the land and naval forces do not include generals, but only officers and noncommissioned officers.
Some 3,631 soldiers, including generals and admirals, were previously dismissed from the army in light of the two state of emergency decrees issued after the failed seizure of government.
The top Turkish judicial board has dismissed 543 more judges and prosecutors, Turkey’s NTV television reported, the latest purge of officials suspected of sympathizing with those behind a July 15 failed coup.
The members of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) has now dismissed about 3,300 judiciary officials since the July 15 putsch. Overall, the Turkish authorities have removed about 80,000 people from public duties; many of those have also been arrested.
Meanwhile, Gülen called on his supporters in a video message published on social media on Aug. 28 to refrain from following media outlets so that they do not leave the movement, daily Yeni Şafak reported.
“If you lend your ears to them or read them, plenty of irritating things will hit you,” Gülen said in the message, as he referred to the news regarding the coup plot.
“If you engage in all of this gossip [news], your thoughts will be busy with such things. Your mind will be busy with such things. One or two people can be assigned to follow the gossip. They can do it,” he said.