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Azerbaijani University Fires Turkish Instructors Over Alleged Gulen Links

A university in Azerbaijan has fired 50 Turkish educators for alleged links with Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for an unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey in July.

Elmar Qasymov, acting rector of the Caucasus University in Baku, told local media that the fired instructors will have to leave Azerbaijan within two weeks.

The Caucasus University was one of the education facilities established in the former Soviet republics by Gulen's Hizmet movement.

In late July, following the Turkey coup attempt and amid a major crackdown against Gulen supporters in Turkey, Azerbaijan's State Oil Institute took over the university.

Gulen, who is living in the United States, is accused of ordering the July 15 attempt by a group within the military to remove Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from power. Gulen vehmently denies the accusation.

In July, Azerbaijan shut down a private television channel over plans to broadcast an interview with Gulen, saying it wanted to "avoid provocations aimed at damaging the strategic partnership between Turkey and Azerbaijan."

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS

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