Turkey steps up army dismissals over 15 July coup attempt

Rebel soldiers are arrested on Bosphorus Bridge after surrendering, 16 July Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Thousands of rebel soldiers were arrested and sacked following the 15 July coup attempt

Turkey's government has sacked another 1,389 soldiers accused of being linked to the coup attempt earlier this month.

This brings the number of military dismissals to more than 3,000 following the failed coup, in which rebel units used tanks and aircraft to try to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On Saturday Mr Erdogan announced steps to put all armed forces under direct government control, amid a crackdown.

He accuses US-based cleric Fetullah Gulen of being behind the coup attempt.

At least 246 people died as rebel soldiers tried to seize power on 15 July. Mr Gulen denies any involvement.

Image copyright AP
Image caption President Erdogan has launched root-and-branch changes to the army

The latest soldiers to be dismissed include Mr Erdogan's chief military adviser, a top aide to the chief of the general staff and the defence minister's chief secretary.

On Saturday the government announced plans to close all military academies and bring land, naval and air forces under the control of the defence ministry.

The proposals need to be approved by parliament.

The coup has triggered a massive purge, with 66,000 public sector workers dismissed and 50,000 passports cancelled.

The state has also shut 142 media outlets and detained journalists. A three-month state of emergency has also been declared.

President Erdogan has ignored international unease about the crackdown, telling his foreign critics: "Mind your own business."

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