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  Turkey sacks 87 spies for ‘links’ to failed coup

Turkey sacks 87 spies for ‘links’ to failed coup

Published : Sep 28, 2016, 1:59 am IST
Updated : Sep 28, 2016, 1:59 am IST

Turkey has dismissed 87 staff from its spy agency over alleged links to the failed July 15 coup, state media said on Tuesday, in the first purge of one of the country’s most powerful institutions.

Turkey has dismissed 87 staff from its spy agency over alleged links to the failed July 15 coup, state media said on Tuesday, in the first purge of one of the country’s most powerful institutions.

The National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) has suspended 141 personnel in an internal probe over links to US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen who Ankara alleges was behind the coup.

Of these, 87 have now been expelled, the Anadolu news agency said. Crimin-al complaints have been lodged against 52 of them, it added.

In a separate development, Turkish police detained 41 suspects from a charity organisation called Kimse Yok Mu for alleged links to Gulen, Anadolu news agency reported.

This was the first announcement of dismissals from the powerful spy agency.

Turkey’s secret service was widely criticised for not warning authorities about the coup bid and the government has acknowledged a vacuum in gathering intelligence.

The 87 staff from the Turkish intelligence will no longer be able to work in another state institution after their dismissal, Anadolu also reported.

There had been intense speculation over the future of spy chief Hakan Fidan after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly said intelligence lapses had helped the coup.

The Turkish strongman had admitted he himself found about the coup not from the intelligence service but from his brother-in-law, and that he had been unable to reach Fidan on the night of the putsch.

Location: Turkey, Istanbul