ANKARA/ISTANBUL, Turkey Turkey dismissed nearly 1,400 members of its armed forces and stacked the top military council with government ministers on Sunday, moves designed by President Tayyip Erdogan to put him in full control of the military after a failed coup.
The new wave of expulsions and the overhaul of the Supreme Military Council (YAS) were announced in the government’s official gazette just hours after Erdogan said late on Saturday he planned to shut down existing military academies and put the armed forces under the command of the Defence Ministry.
According to the gazette, 1,389 military personnel were dismissed for suspected links to the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who is accused by Turkey of orchestrating the July 15-16 failed putsch. Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, has denied the charges and condemned the coup.
It comes after an announcement last week that more than 1,700 military personnel had been dishonourably discharged for their role in the putsch, which saw a faction of the armed forces commandeer tanks, helicopters and warplanes in an attempt to topple the government.
It was not immediately clear whether the dismissals referred to in Sunday’s official gazette included any of those dishonourably discharged previously.
Erdogan has said 237 people