Turkey fires more that 18,500 state employees in new decree
Turkey fires more that 18,500 state employees in new decree
Turkey fires thousands of public servants in anti-terror purge
11 July, 2018, 04:12
Turkish authorities have issued a decree to dismiss more than 18,000 civil servants, half of whom were from the police force, ahead of this month's expected lifting of a two-year-old state of emergency imposed after an attempted coup in July 2016.
The list, which was reviewed during a cabinet meeting convened by Erdogan last month, included almost 9,000 police officers, over 6,000 military personnel, and about 1,000 employees from the justice ministry.
Critics say Erdogan is using the extra powers permitted under emergency rule, renewed seven times, to target opponents, with human rights defenders including Amnesty International lambasting the purges as arbitrary.
The current parliamentary system will end under constitutional changes approved in a referendum past year.
However, Erdogan said during his election campaign that if deemed necessary, the state of emergency will return, especially if the country faces "terror threats".
"The new government will be announced on Monday, the cabinet will start to work and the state of emergency will be completed", outgoing Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said last week, although he reiterated that the latest extension was due to end mid-July.
Turkey's state-run news agency says authorities have issued detention warrants for 271 soldiers over their suspected links to USA -based cleric who is blamed by Ankara for a failed coup attempt in 2016.
More than 75,000 people have been arrested for alleged links to Gulen.
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The decree has also dismissed a certain number of employees of the Turkish Justice Ministry (1,051), the Education Ministry (658), the Directorate of Religious Affairs (240), the Foreign Ministry (38) and state universities (199).
Recep Tayyip Erdogan takes office today as Turkey's executive president with vastly expanded powers as more than 18,600 people are purged from government jobs.
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