Erdogan dishonourably discharges more than 1,300 soldiers

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used an emergency decree to dishonorably discharge 1,389 soldiers from the armed forces, state news agency Anadolu reported Sunday.

A former adviser to Erdogan was among those dismissed, the report said, citing the decree.

Under the decree, current military academies will be closed, and new universities run by the Defence Ministry will open to oversee officer training, Anadolu reported.

Turkish land forces, air force and the navy would be supervised by the ministry under this decree.

A Turkish court granted the prosecutor's office permission to seize the private assets of approximately 3,000 judges and prosecutors who were suspended after the coup, Anadolu reported.

The president last week dismissed 1,684 officers, including 149 generals.

Ankara accused the judges and discharged soldiers of having ties with US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan blames for the attempted coup on July 15, which was carried out in part by elements within the military.

Nine suspects who allegedly had sought to capture Erdogan during the coup were reportedly caught overnight Sunday, Anadolu reported.

The group exchanged gunfire with police in the small city of Ula in south-western Turkey, broadcaster CNN Turk reported. Television station TRT said two further coup participants were fleeing the scene, and broadcast video showed helicopters searching the area.

On Saturday, Erdogan proposed bringing the general staff of the military and spy agency under the authority of his office, Anadolu reported.

The spy agency, known as MIT, is currently under the prime minister's office. Erdogan served for more than a decade as premier before being elected president in 2014.

The army has historically been a somewhat autonomous institution in Turkey, and the proposed shift could bring more civilian oversight to the military.

Last update: Mon, 01/08/2016 - 09:52
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