Turkey dismisses 88 foreign ministry staff: Foreign minister

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks to the press on May 31, 2016.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks to the press on May 31, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

ISTANBUL (Reuters/AFP) - Turkey has dismissed 88 employees of the Foreign Ministry, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday (July 28), the latest in a series of purges of suspected supporters of a United States-based Muslim cleric accused of organising a failed military coup.

Gulen denies any involvement in the coup, in which at least 246 people, excluding the plotters, were killed.

The Turkish authorities have dismissed, suspended or placed under investigation tens of thousands of people in state institutions including government ministries, the armed forces and the police over suspected links to Gulen and his movement.

Mr Cavusoglu was speaking to broadcaster NTV.

Meanwhile, two of Turkey's top generals resigned Thursday ahead of a key military meeting expected to agree on a personnel shake-up after a failed coup, local media reported.

Land Forces Chief of Staff General Ihsan Uyar and Training and Doctrine Command head General Kamil Basoglu have stepped down, the private Dogan news agency reported. Both are "Orgeneral", Turkey's highest rank for a general.

Their resignations, which have still to be officially confirmed, come just ahead of a meeting of the Supreme Military Council (YAS) in Ankara which is set to agree key personnel changes after the coup.

The government on Wednesday announced the discharge of 149 generals - nearly half the armed forces' entire contingent of 358 - for complicity in the putsch bid.