Turkish Airlines sacks staff over alleged coup links

Demonstrators gathering around a picture of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, during an anti-coup rally on Sunday organised by Turkey's largest opposition group, the Republican People's Party.
Demonstrators gathering around a picture of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, during an anti-coup rally on Sunday organised by Turkey's largest opposition group, the Republican People's Party.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

ISTANBUL • State-run Turkish Airlines has fired more than 100 employees, including management and cabin crew, as part of a purge at state institutions to root out supporters of an abortive coup.

The dismissals at the national carrier occurred late on Sunday after it was determined the employees were linked to a religious movement President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said had attempted to overthrow the government on July 15, Sabah newspaper said yesterday .

An official at Turkish Airlines, Europe's fourth-biggest carrier, declined to comment.

Other reports said the dismissals were due to "inefficiency". Thelira.com, a financial news website, said about 250 cabin crew were dismissed, along with 100 management and administrative staff.

Aviation news site Airporthaber.com said that among those let go was a deputy chief executive responsible for the airline's financial affairs.

The sacking was followed by the detention of 42 journalists yesterday, including commentator and former parliamentarian Nazli Ilicak, broadcaster NTV reported.

The authorities have sacked, suspended or detained some 60,000 people, mainly public-sector employees, after a failed coup by a small faction in the military. They are accused of sympathising or belonging to a group led by Mr Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic preacher in self-imposed exile in the United States.

Separately, telephone operator Turk Telekom, which is 30 per cent state-owned, sacked 198 people last Friday in "cooperation with the security forces" and said some managers had been summoned by prosecutors for testimony in connection with the coup investigation, according to e-mailed statements.

More than 240 people were killed and 2,000 injured in violence surrounding the July 15 coup attempt.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 26, 2016, with the headline 'Turkish Airlines sacks staff over alleged coup links'. Print Edition | Subscribe