Over 4,000 military personnel expelled since Turkey’s 2018 lifting of state of emergency

Turkey expelled over 4,00 military personnel from its army and stripped 531 retired soldiers of their ranks after the country’s two-year state of emergency was lifted in 2018, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Wednesday.

A total of 4,562 personnel have been expelled from the Turkish Armed Forces on the approval of the Defence Minister Hulusi Akar since the end of the state of emergency, which Turkey’s government launched after the failed 2016 coup attemp, the agency said.

"As with all terrorist organisations, our fight against FETÖ continues with determination," Anadolu quoted Akar as saying, in reference to the Gülen movement. “We are working closely with judicial and intelligence agencies.”

Turkish authorities have carried out a sustained crackdown on alleged followers of U.S.-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen since Turkey’s failed 2016 coup in July 2016. The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of staging the failed putsch, leading to the dismissal of over 19,000 military personnel, according to official records, over alleged ties with the organisation.

The ranks of 531 retired soldiers were also withdrawn during the period after the state of emergency.

“(Akar), who followed the process with determination and precision, immediately took action on the files that came before him, and (ensured) that there was no pending file waiting on the issue (of stripping retired military personnel of their ranks),” Anadolu said.

“As soon as new information, documents come in, as soon as conviction was formed, the process is carried out immediately,” Akar said. “Our goal is to rid ourselves of these terrorists completely, to prevent even a single traitor from carrying this glorious uniform."