445 police officers suspended in Turkey due to 'ties with Gülen network'

445 police officers were suspended on the basis of having ties with the Gülen network, referred to as the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) by the Turkish government, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya announced.

Duvar English

Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya on Dec. 28 announced the suspension of 445 police officers on the grounds that they were affiliated with what the government calls the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

In a social media post, Yerlikaya said the officers’ affiliations were revealed within the scope of the General Directorate of Security’s retrospective studies on digital materials.

“We will continue our fight against terrorist organizations and their collaborators without hesitation,” Yerlikaya said and added that they launched an administrative investigation into the officers.

More than 150,000 government employees have been dismissed or suspended from their jobs since the coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The government argues that it is cleansing the state apparatus of followers of the exiled Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, which it calls the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) and blames for the failed coup. However, among those purged have included high numbers of Kurds, leftists and union members.

The Gülen movement is an ally-turned-foe of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Their ties were strained in 2013 following a graft probe.