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Over 10,000 civil servants dismissed over Turkey coup

October 30, 2016

Ankara's post-coup purge has seen over a hundred thousand lose their jobs. A new set of emergency powers has also given President Erdogan more control of the media and universities.

Türkei Türkischen Präsident Tayyip Erdogan nach der Pressekonferenz
Image: Reuters/U. Bektas

Thousands of teachers, health workers, and academics were fired in Turkey late on Saturday for having ties to exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen. The US-based Gulen, a former ally and now bitter rival of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been blamed for a failed coup in July.

Gulen has denied any involvement, but that has not stopped Turkish authorities from pursuing a massive crackdown on the civil service, educational institutions, and the media. On Saturday, a new emergency rule decree not only saw the 10,000 workers dismissed, but also shut down 15 media outlets, most of them in the predominantly Kurdish southeast.

Türkei Universität von Istanbul
Istanbul UniversityImage: picture-alliance/Rainer Hackenberg

The new rules also revoked the right for universities to elect their rector. Erdogan will now chose rectors himself based on a pool of candidates selected by the High Education Board.

The purge in the wake of the attempted coup has also cost the jobs of 100,000 judges, prosecutors, security officers and civil servants. Over 160 media outlets have also been shut down since the government declared a state of emergency in July. Ankara has defended the crackdown as necessary to root out those who seek to undermine the state.

July's aborted coup killed 240 people when a faction of Turkey's armed forces tried to overthrow Erdogan over what they claimed was his attempt to destroy Turkish secularism.

es/jlw (AFP, Reuters)