Failed coup: Turkey suspends 13,000 police over links to US-based cleric

Turkey has suspended almost 13,000 police officers, more than 5 per cent of the country’s entire police force, over suspected links to Fethullah Gulen, a United States-based cleric blamed by Ankara for orchestrating a failed coup attempt.

Al Jazeera said in a brief statement, the Turkish police headquarters said that 2,523 of the 12,801 suspended were police chiefs.

The officers suspended “have been assessed to have communications or links to the Gulenist Terror Organisation, identified as a threat to national security”, the police statement said.

The government blames the July 15 failed coup bid on Gulen, though he denies the charges.

According to the state-run Anadolu Agency, 37 people working in the interior ministry’s headquarters had also been removed from their posts.