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Turkey Dismisses 87 Members Of Spy Agency

Exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen (file photo)

Turkish authorities have dismissed 87 members of the national spy agency over alleged links with the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of organizing a failed coup on July 15.

Turkish state media said on September 27 that criminal complaints have been filed against 52 of the 87 people expelled from the National Intelligence Organisation (MIT).

A total of 141 MIT personnel had been suspended following the failed coup and investigations on 100 of them have now been completed, state media said.

It is the first purge of one of Turkey's most powerful institutions.

Ankara has sacked or suspended more than 100,000 soldiers, police, and civil servants since the failed coup for alleged links to Gulen's movement.

Turkey has formally requested the United States to arrest Gulen on charges of organizing the attempted military coup. But Washington has said it would need evidence of the cleric's involvement.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999, has denied any involvement.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters