90 percent of Gülenists fired or suspended from strategic positions, Ankara says


Following a recently held Cabinet meeting, the government stated that 90 percent of Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) members have been suspended or fired from strategic positions in the government while 80 percent of FETÖ's overall structure has been identified.

According to information received by Daily Sabah, the government has made significant progress in the FETÖ investigations since the July 15 failed coup attempt. It was also informed by Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli following the Cabinet meeting that the "determination on fighting against terrorism" remains high on the government's agenda.

The Cabinet meeting held on Monday addressed the latest developments in the FETÖ investigation and the progress of these operations. Following the meeting, it was stated that 80 percent of the FETÖ structure not only within the state but also beyond has been identified. The government had initially focused on eliminating Gülenists from critical positions within state institutions including the army, police, and the judiciary as well as intelligence units. In this respect, high-level administrators from these institutions were dismissed allowing the government to eliminate 90 percent of FETÖ's infiltrations.

According to the latest numbers, 22,000 individuals have been dismissed from strategic positions within state institutions for affiliation with FETÖ. More than 5,000 Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) personnel, 150 of whom were generals, were dismissed from their positions while nearly 10,000 chief police officers and intelligence officers have been dismissed. In the meantime, as part of the Ankara Chief Prosecutor's office investigation into FETÖ, the Turkish Financial Crimes Unit conducted operations into the Small and Medium Industry Development Organization (KOSGEB) headquarters and provincial directorates. During the operations, which were conducted in 13 provinces, including Istanbul, Erzurum, Sakarya and Düzce, the premises were searched and suspects were detained with 35 taken into custody.

In an effort to prevent any unfair treatment that may be caused by FETÖ investigations, the government will carefully assess and evaluate all complaints in line with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's call to the government in which he urges them to make sure no one is being wrongfully dismissed. While the teaching licenses of teachers who were instructors in private schools with FETÖ links, which were shut down as part of the fight against FETÖ, were decertified, the government is still working on new initiatives to make sure that those who were not actively involved in the terror group's activities are able to teach again.

FETÖ has been implicated in a string of criminal cases, from the July 15 coup attempt where dozens were killed by members of the Gülenist junta, to illegal wiretapping and money laundering. The government escalated its fight against FETÖ after the putsch attempt and through statutory decrees, dismissing thousands from public offices. The judiciary is believed to have been heavily infiltrated by members of the secretive group. Some 3,390 judges and prosecutors were dismissed by the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) after the coup attempt. The terror group is accused of orchestrating sham trials to imprison its critics or anyone they view as a threat to their interests aided by judges and prosecutors loyal to the group.

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