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Turkey seeks 30,000 new soldiers after post-coup purge: Report

Tens of thousands of people have been either detained or sacked in the wake of the July 15 putsch

world Updated: Nov 16, 2016 20:09 IST
AFP
Turkey is seeking to recruit more than 30,000 new personnel to fill shortfalls after thousands were kicked out of the army in the wake of the failed July coup.
Turkey is seeking to recruit more than 30,000 new personnel to fill shortfalls after thousands were kicked out of the army in the wake of the failed July coup.(AP File Photo)

Turkey is seeking to recruit more than 30,000 new personnel to fill shortfalls after thousands were kicked out of the army in the wake of the failed July coup, state media reported Wednesday.

Tens of thousands of people have been either detained or sacked in the wake of the July 15 putsch blamed by the government on rogue elements in the army led by Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen.

Around 9,300 army personnel have been arrested, including 118 generals and admirals, while thousands more have been discharged dishonourably or suspended.

But the dismissals came with the army facing challenges on all sides, fighting a conflict to destroy Kurdish militants in the southeast and also waging a cross-border operation inside Syria.

The state-run Anadolu news agency said the armed forces are aiming to recruit 30,159 personnel in order to meet needs in the aftermath of the post-coup dismissals.

This would include 1,322 officers, 3,547 non-commissoned officers, 7,159 trained soldiers, and 11,907 contracted soldiers, according to the news report.

The Turkish authorities have repeatedly insisted that the purge in the army after the coup has not affected its operations, pointing to the launch of the Syria incursion just over a month after the failed putsch.

But analysts have said that the effect on the military has been severe, with a shortage of pilots particularly acute.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said in an interview in August that Turkey was in need of military pilots and this is “not something that can be done in a day”.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, has denied that he was linked to the coup in any way.