Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Over 18,500 Turkish public workers dismissed with new emergency state decree

Turkey has been under a state of emergency since the July 2016 attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Turkey has been under a state of emergency since the July 2016 attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan More
Jeannette Daniel | 09 July, 2018, 07:42

Turkish authorities ordered the dismissal of more than 18,500 state employees including police officers, soldiers and academics, in a decree published on Sunday.

The Official Gazette said 18,632 people had been dismissed, including 8,998 police officers, over suspected links to terrorist organisations that "act against national security", in what could be the last of the purges under emergency rule.

Government officials have indicated that the emergency could be declared over as early as Monday.

But the government says they are necessary to remove multiple terror threats inside state institutions.

Among the powers he will have under constitutional changes approved in a referendum a year ago will be the right to start and end states of emergency unilaterally.

The decree was released on the eve of a ceremony in Ankara, Turkey's capital city, during which Erdogan is due to be sworn in for a new five-year mandate following his victory in the June 24 presidential election.

Turkey accuses USA -based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen and what the authorities call the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) of orchestrating the attempted coup.

More news: Russia's Sergei Ignashevich announces retirement after World Cup exit

Gulen denies any involvement in the attempted putsch, which took place on 15 July, 2016.

But the purge has broadened to include other "terror groups", with more than 130,000 people dismissed.

Turkish authorities had already dismissed around 160,000 civil servants since the failed military intervention, the United Nations human rights office said in March. The majority of those fired under the emergency are accused of links to Gulen.

The decree also said 148 employees who were dismissed in the past had been reinstated.

Twelve non-governmental organizations, three newspapers and one television station were also shuttered through the 461-page ruling.

Tens of thousands of others have been fired or suspended in the enormous purge.

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