Hundreds more Turkish soldiers sacked following coup attempt

A further 820 Turkish soldiers have been dishonourably discharged from the army, the government in Ankara said, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the country's judges and prosecutors to expect a busy year to come.

Some 648 of the dismissed soldiers were under investigation, the Defence Ministry said on its Twitter feed, as the effects of a failed coup in July continued to reverberate around the country.

With more "traitors" removed from the armed forces, those that remain can serve the country better, the ministry said.

The investigations are into possible links to the Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The government blames the US-based, Turkish-born Gulen of orchestrating the July 15 coup attempt, charges he denies.

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.

Erdogan made the comments as he officially opened the start of the court year at the presidential palace.

Opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu did not attend the event. He told the Hurriyet newspaper that holding such a ceremony at the presidential palace violated the principle that Turkey's judiciary should be independent of the executive.

Last update: Thu, 01/09/2016 - 15:12

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