Turkey Dismisses 15,000 in Latest Coup Purge

Turkey Dismisses 15,000 in Latest Coup PurgeTurkey Dismisses 15,000 in Latest Coup Purge

Turkey on Tuesday dismissed over 15,000 more civil servants, police officers and military personnel within the state of emergency imposed after the July failed coup, in a purge that shows no sign of slowing.

More than 100,000 people within the military, police, judiciary and education sector have been arrested, suspended or sacked so far in a crackdown on those alleged to have links to coup-plotters.

In the latest government decree published on Tuesday, 7,586 personnel working in the police, including police chiefs and commissioners, were dismissed, AFP reported.

Meanwhile, 1,956 soldiers and personnel in the air force and navy were sacked while another 403 were removed from the gendarmerie, which looks after domestic security.

Thousands more were dismissed in government ministries and state institutions, including nearly 3,000 officials in the interior ministry and its linked institutions.

In total, 15,726 people have been dismissed under the latest decrees. The dismissals are allowed under the state of emergency, which was extended by another three months in October and was originally imposed in the wake of the coup.

But its scope has been vehemently criticized by the European Union and human rights activists.

The decrees, published in the latest issue of the official gazette, also ordered the closure of 375 associations, nine provincial press outlets and 19 health institutions.

Critics have claimed that the crackdown goes well beyond the suspected coup plotters and targets anyone who has dared show opposition to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ankara blames the coup plot on the US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen and says an unrelenting campaign is needed to root out his influence from public life. Gulen denies the allegations.

In a separate development on Tuesday, Turkish authorities detained 20 staff at Silivri jail outside Istanbul accused of using the Bylock messaging app that Ankara says was specially developed by Gulen supporters for the coup plot.

Those detained include the head of the prison, named as H.T., it added. Hundreds of suspects rounded up after the coup are being held in the jail.

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