Turkish Airlines 'fires 211 employees over links to Fethullah Gulen' after attempted coup

Authorities have already sacked, suspended or detained 60,000 people

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The Independent Online

Turkish Airlines says it has fired 211 employees over their links to the Islamic transnational Gülen movement after the recent failed coup.

The state-run company sacked the workers, including management and cabin crew, as part of a purge of state institutions.

Dismissals occurred late on Sunday after it was decided the employees were linked to a religious movement President Tayyip Erdogan has said attempted to overthrow the government.

An official at Turkish Airlines, Europe's fourth-biggest carrier, declined to comment.

Other reports said the dismissals were due to "inefficiency."

Thelira.com, a financial-news website, said about 250 cabin crew were dismissed, along with 100 management and administrative staff.

Aviation news site Airporthaber.com said among those let go was a deputy chief executive responsible for the airline's financial affairs.

Authorities have sacked, suspended or detained some 60,000 people, mainly public-sector employees, after a failed coup by a small faction in the military. They are accused of sympathizing or belonging to a religious group led by Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic preacher in self-imposed exile in the United States.

Separately, landline operator Turk Telekom, which is 30 per cent state-owned, sacked 198 people on Friday in "cooperation with the security forces" and said some managers had been summoned by prosecutors for testimony in connection with the coup investigation, according to e-mailed statements.

More than 240 people were killed and 2,000 injured in violence surrounding the July 15 coup attempt.

Turkish Airlines shares were up 2.83 per cent at 5.08 lira on Monday, in line with the main index. Turk Telekom outpaced the index, rising 3.59 per cent to 6.06 lira.

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