July 19, 2016 / 11:02 AM / 3 years ago

Turkey removes 492 state religious personnel after failed coup

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey has removed 492 staff from duty at its top Islamic authority for suspected involvement in the failed July 15 military coup and for alleged “terrorism” links, a statement from the Diyanet said on Tuesday.

Turkey’s government has accused U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen of masterminding the coup, in which more than 200 people were killed. Gulen, who has many supporters in Turkey’s civil service, judiciary and police, has strongly denied the accusation.

More than 100,000 personnel are employed at the Religious Affairs Directorate, or Diyanet.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Ayla Jean Yackley

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