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19 Presidential Security Guards were suspended for having Gulen affiliation

9,103 police officers were removed from their positions over alleged links to a US-based cleric, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. The move followed a decree issued by the state citing the ongoing state of emergency. Earlier same day, 1,009 “secret imams” within the police force were suspended for allegedly having links to Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Islamic cleric living in the United States.

The Turkish government blames Gulen for organizing the July 15th coup attempt. Since the coup attempt, Turkey has been under a state of emergency, which grants the authorities sweeping powers.

19 of the suspended, including 2 chiefs of police, were serving at the Department of Presidential Security responsible for the close protection of the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family. Department of Presidential Security is also responsible for providing security services for presidency offices and surrounding premises for 24 hours.

36 police officers of the Parliament Security Service, including 2 high-ranking personnel, were also among the suspended. One of the policemen who was suspended from his job at the Parliament Security Service committed suicide after having learned that his name was on the list. Reportedly before the suicide, he called his close relatives and wrote on his social media account: “I am not a traitor. I have never betrayed my country.”

By Bulent Korkmaz

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