Turkey suspends 1,500 prison personnel and guards in post-coup probe: minister

September 30, 2016 4:00 AM EDT

A riot police stands guard during the opening ceremony of newly built Yavuz Sultan Selim bridge, the third bridge over the Bosphorus linking the city's European and Asian sides in Istanbul, Turkey, August 26, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer -

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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish authorities have suspended 1,500 prison personnel and guards over links with the U.S.-based cleric Turkey accuses of orchestrating the failed July coup, justice minister Bekir Bozdag said.

Speaking at an event in the Turkish capital, Bozdag said the prison personnel and guards were temporarily suspended to remove individuals linked to the cleric Fethullah Gulen in Turkish prisons, but could be sacked if concrete links were found.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Humeyra Pamuk)

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