Turkey dismisses 87 National Intelligence Organisation staff

Turkey dismisses 87 National Intelligence Organisation staff

ISTANBUL: (APP) Turkey has dismissed 87 staff from its spy agency over alleged links to the failed July 15 coup, state media said Tuesday, in the first purge of one of the country's most powerful institutions.

National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) has suspended 141 personnel in an internal probe over links to US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen who Ankara alleges was behind the coup.

Of these, 87 have now been expelled, the Anadolu news agency said. Criminal complaints have been lodged against 52 of them, it added.

In a separate development, Turkish police detained 41 suspects from a charity organisation Kimse Yok Mu? (Is There Anyone There?) for alleged links to Gulen, Anadolu news agency reported.

Turkey has fired tens of thousands of people from state institutions in the wake of the attempted putsch but this was the first announcement of dismissals from the powerful spy agency.

Turkey's secret service was widely criticised for not warning authorities about the coup bid and the government has acknowledged a vacuum in gathering intelligence.

The 87 staff from the Turkish intelligence will no longer be able to work in another state institution after their dismissal, Anadolu also reported.