More sackings in Turkey, dating shows banned | News | DW | 29.04.2017
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More sackings in Turkey, dating shows banned

Another 4,000 Turkish public officials have been sacked by President Erdogan's administration. It has also decreed the closing of television dating programs.

Turkey issued a set of decrees Saturday, one announced the firing of 3,974 officials while the second imposed a ban on popular dating programs on Turkish television channels.

Another decree gazetted also reinstated 236 people to their jobs, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the Turkish clampdown on Wikipedia access from early Saturday was described by the Turkey's BTK technologies authority as a "protection measure" ordered by an Ankara court to halt "a smear campaign against Turkey."

'Fundamental' right, says Wikipedia's Wales

The online encyclopedia's founder Jimmy Wales tweeted that he would stand by Turks over their "fundamental" right to access.

Saturday's public service expulsions included 1,127 justice ministry employees, including wardens, some 1,000 army personnel and 500 academics.

That lifts to 100,000 the number of people purged in the nine months since last year's coup attempt. Some 47,000 people have been arrested.

Erdogan's repeated claim that his one-time ally Fethullah Gulen was behind July's failed coup attempt has been denied by the US-based preacher.

Türkei verlängert Ausnahmezustand - Numan Kurtulmus (picture-alliance/AA/A. Bolat)

Deputy PM Kurtulmus wanted dating shows banned.

Family sanctity robbed, claims Kurtulmus 

Televised dating programs also banned on Saturday follow a remark in March by Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus that such shows did not comply with Turkish traditions and customs.

"There are some strange programs that would scrap the institution of the family, take away its nobility and sanctity," Kurtulmus said in March.

Opponents of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which Erdogan is set to rejoin, have often voiced fears that Turkey is sliding toward conservative Islam.

Saturday's moves follow a new crackdown last Wednesday, when 1,000 people were detained and 9,100 police personnel were suspended on allegations that they too were Gulen supporters.

Turkey listed as 'not free'

Freedom House, the independent rights watchdog, says over 111,000 websites were blocked as of May last year, shortly after the coup attempt.

Turkey is listed as "not free" on the organization's Freedom on the Net index.

ipj/sms (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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