The Turkish authorities ordered the arrest of 249 MFA employees on suspicion of having links with the movement of Islamic preacher Fetullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of attempting a coup in July 2016, AP reported

Ankara’s chief prosecutor’s office stated that it ordered the arrest of 249 employees of the Turkish Foreign Ministry after they found out that they had committed violations during the past entrance examinations of the Ministry. Currently, 78 people have been detained, the rest are wanted.

Over 77,000 people are in prison in Turkey while awaiting trial, about 150,000 civil servants, military personnel, and others have been dismissed or suspended from work as part of the purges after the coup.

Human rights organizations and the Western allies of Turkey expressed concern about the repression, saying that President Tayyip Erdogan used the unfortunate coup as an excuse to suppress dissent.