Turkey dismisses 2,756 at public institutions over alleged links to 'terror' organisations

US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, on July 10, 2017.
US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, on July 10, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISTANBUL (REUTERS) - Turkey said on Sunday (Dec 24) that 2,756 people were dismissed from their jobs in public institutions, including soldiers, teachers and ministry personnel over links to "terror" organisations.

The dismissed personnel were found to be members of, or linked to, "terror" groups, structures and entities that act against national security, according to a decree published in the Official Gazette.

Some 50,000 people have been arrested since a failed putsch in July last year and about 150,000 have been dismissed or suspended from their posts, including soldiers, police, teachers and public servants, over alleged links with the movement of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The government accused Mr Gulen of organising the attempted coup.

Mr Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, has denied the accusation and condemned the coup.

Rights groups and some Western allies fear President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is using the attempted coup as a pretext to stifle dissent.

The government argues the crackdown is necessary due to the gravity of the coup attempt, in which 240 people were killed.