Turkey, Sports

Turkish sports minister: 322 dismissed amid FETO probe

Akif Cagatay Kilic reveals a total of 322 Sports Ministry dismissals in interview at Anadolu Agency’s Editors’ Desk

Turkish sports minister: 322 dismissed amid FETO probe

By Omer Hakan Kibar and O.Bugra Ersavas


Turkey’s sports minister confirmed on Wednesday over 300 people from his department have been dismissed amid a probe into the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

Akif Cagatay Kilic revealed a total of 322 dismissals during an interview at Anadolu Agency’s Editors’ Desk in Ankara.

"We are in a serious fight against terrorist organizations who try to ruin the indivisible integrity of Turkey as well as the country's future," Kilic said.

"Our president and prime minister's orders are obvious. We will not have mercy but we will be fair. And we do this," Kilic added, saying the authorities were taking action based on data and information.

The Turkish minister said FETO was a very dangerous structure as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had indicated for three years. Kilic said the organization intended to harm Turkey and the Turkish people's future.

Kilic said that those behind the July 15 coup plot had betrayed their own country.

"On the night of July 15, the whole world saw what these murderers can commit and do. They [coup plotters] took F-16 fighter jets and bombed the Turkish presidential complex and other institutions. In fact, the word ‘betrayal’ does not explain it. It is beyond betrayal," he added.

Turkey’s government blames FETO for the deadly July 15 coup attempt. At least 241 people were martyred in the failed coup which the government has said was organized by followers of Fetullah Gulen, the head of FETO.

Gulen is accused of leading a long-running campaign to overthrow the Turkish government through the infiltration of state institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the parallel state.

Istanbul to host international basketball

Separately, the sports minister confirmed the 2017 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four would be held in Istanbul.

"We will organize the final of the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 in Istanbul as well," Kilic added.

FIBA EuroBasket is Europe's top-tier international basketball competition. It will start on Aug. 31 and end Sept. 17, 2017. Europe's best 24 teams will compete to be crowned champion. The tournament will have many host countries: Finland; Israel; Romania and Turkey.

The Turkish Airlines Euroleague is an elite club basketball tournament. This season's EuroLeague will begin on Oct. 13 and end on May 21, 2017.

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