Turkish ambassadors could be suspended in the nationwide probe into the July 15 coup attempt, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu warned Monday.
Speaking during a live TV program on Monday, Çavuşoğlu said members of the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ) had infiltrated the Foreign Ministry over the years by cheating in entrance exams.
"Some personnel in the ministry had been given answered questions... and some personnel were placed in key positions in the ministry," he told broadcaster France 24.
Çavuşoğlu said the ambassadors who could be suspended had been recalled from their posts but that more junior staff still overseas could also be removed.
"They [have not been] assigned for any mission so far," he said. "We have recalled them. But low-level civil servants who are on an international duty right now [will be suspended]," he said.
Tens of thousands of civil servants have been suspended from their jobs in the wake of the attempted coup and 13,000 have been arrested. The government has blamed the plot on U.S.-based Fetullah Gülen and his supporters in Turkey.
Çavuşoğlu said cheating in public service entrance exams was a criminal offense.
"They will suffer the consequences," he added. "There are people who spent one or one-and-a-half years, who worked hard to be part of the ministry, but [Gülen supporters] took a position without any effort."
Çavuşoğlu continued by saying that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has added them to their terror list and Kyrgyzstan has been warned that the Gülenists over there might try to stage a military coup as well.
He criticized the European Council for 'keeping quiet' about France and Germany's declaration of state of emergency, but criticizing the SOE in Turkey.
"Why do you keep quiet when France and Germany announce the state of emergency but protest when Turkey does it? The people's freedom won't be limited, it will be empowered. We will take all the necessary steps to keep the European Council up to date and preserve the necessary transparency," he added.
Upon the statement of the head of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker that the procedure for Turkey's application to join the EU would be halted immediately if the death penalty was reinstated Çavuşoğlu retorted that Juncker is not the boss of Turkey and cannot look down on Turkey nor speak degradingly. "We cannot accept this" he added.
Çavuşoğlu also responded to EU President Jean-Claude Juncker's statement on the possibility of Turkey reintroducing the death penalty. Juncker said negotiations on Turkey's bid to join the bloc would halt if the death sentence was brought back.
"[The EU] cannot speak with Turkey in such a threatening manner," Çavuşoğlu said. "We are not afraid of their threats… Juncker is not Turkey's boss."
Calls for reinstating the death penalty have been growing in Turkey since the coup attempt. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said the people's demands cannot be overlooked and the matter would have to be discussed in parliament.
The coup attempt occurred when rogue elements in the Turkish military tried to overthrow the government, resulting in at least 246 deaths.
Gülen is accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, and forming a "parallel state".
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