May 13, 6:32 AM EDT

Turkey: military members' links to US-based cleric probed


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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkey's defense minister says prosecutors are investigating possible ties between members of the military and a U.S.-based Muslim cleric.

Ismet Yilmaz told Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency Wednesday that following tips, military prosecutors have launched probes into more than a thousand personnel suspected of links to Fethullah Gulen's movement, which was once allied to the government.

The government now accuses the movement of conspiring to destabilize it and thousands of suspected Gulen supporters have been forced out of the police and judiciary.

Yilmaz suggested those suspected of links to Gulen within the military could be dismissed too, saying "the necessary measure will be taken."

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