ANKARA (Dispatches) – Turkish authorities have reinstated hundreds of civil servants who had been fired over alleged links to a failed coup attempt in 2016.
In an emergency decree published on Friday, judges exonerated 1,823 employees after finding they had had no links to those blamed for the 2016 coup bid.
The public employees had been sacked for downloading an encrypted messaging app known as ByLock, which authorities say was used by the putschists to carry out the coup.
Late last year, however, Turkish authorities concluded that the ByLock app had been unknowingly downloaded by thousands of users and could not be used as positive proof proving involvement in the failed coup.
Among those acquitted on Friday were 544 personnel from the Education Ministry, 204 from the Health Ministry, and 458 personnel from the police force.
The employees will have to return to work within 10 days and will receive their wages for the period they were not working but cannot apply for compensation.
However, rulings against 262 people, including 48 military personnel, were upheld, state-run news agency Anadolu said.
Ankara holds U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen responsible for orchestrating the attempted coup. Gulen has denied the charge.
Meanwhile, Turkey has warned its citizens against traveling to the United States due to terrorism and arbitrary detentions, advising nationals to take precautions if they do decide to travel.
"Turkish citizens traveling to the United States may be subjected to arbitrary detentions based on testimonies of unrespected sources,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News website also quoted the ministry’s statement as saying that there had been an increase in terror attacks and violent incidents in the United States recently.