1 September 2016
Turkish Defence Ministry said on Thursday in Ankara that as the effects of a failed coup in July continued to reverberate around the country, 820 Turkish soldiers have been dishonourably discharged from the army.
It said in a statement that in respect of this, President Recep Erdogan, had told the country’s judges and prosecutors to expect a busy year to come.
The ministry said 648 of the dismissed 820 soldiers were under investigation into possible links to Islamic cleric, Fethullah Gulen, the accused mastermind of the coup attempt who has denied his involvement.
“With more `traitors’ removed from the armed forces, those that remain can serve the country better, the ministry said.
A government official said on condition of anonymity that Erdogan commented on Thursday that judges and prosecutors in Turkey would be very busy as a result of the coup-related arrests, with more than 13,000 people now being investigated.
He said that Erdogan made the comments as he officially opened the start of the court year at the presidential palace.
The source said that the opposition leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, did not attend the event.
He said that Kilicdaroglu said that holding such a ceremony at the presidential palace violated the principle that Turkey’s judiciary should be independent of the executive.