The İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday issued detention warrants for 91 air force officers of varying ranks and five people allegedly linked to them as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
According to the report, 65 of the 96 being sought have been detained by police in operations across 15 provinces, while 31 are still at large.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
The movement denies any involvement.
The ruling AKP government dismissed 24,977 military members including 150 generals, 4,630 officers, 2,167 noncommissioned officers, 1,210 specialized sergeants, 411 civil servants and workers, and 16,409 cadets following the failed coup over alleged links to the Gülen movement.
Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli on April 18 said the government has identified 3,000 active duty military officers suspected of links to the Gülen movement and that they would be dismissed with a government decree in the coming days.
The government has up until now employed 15,850 military personnel including 1,763 officers, 4,135 noncommissioned officers, 3,698 specialized sergeants, 6,162 contracted privates and 92 civil servants, the report said.
The Turkish government announced on Jan. 2 that it would enlist 42,938 new military personnel. A total of 3,755 officers, 5,375 noncommissioned officers, 13,213 specialized sergeants and 20,595 contracted privates are planned to fill the ranks.
In February 2017 Defense Minister Fikri Işık said 30,000 new recruits would be enlisted in the Turkish military.
Official statements claim that 8,651 military members including cadets and privates took part in the failed coup.