Turkey dismisses 18000 state employees for alleged terrorist links

Turkey fires thousands of public servants in anti-terror purge

Turkey fires thousands of public servants in anti-terror purge

Turkish authorities dismissed more than 18,000 state employees for alleged ties to terror groups on Sunday, a dramatic extension of mass purges launched after the 2016 failed military coup as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is about begin a new term with vastly expanded executive powers.

Three newspapers and a television channel were shuttered, and 148 other people who had previously been dismissed were reinstated.

The government has been issuing decrees, bypassing parliament, since a state of emergency was imposed in the wake of an attempted military coup in July 2016.

Critics said Erdogan is using the extra powers permitted under emergency rule, which have been renewed seven times, to target opponents but the government said they are necessary to remove multiple terror threats inside state institutions.

Turkey declared a state of emergency following the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2018, organized by the followers of FETÖ and its US -based leader Fethullah Gülen that resulted in the deaths of almost 250 people and more than 2,200 injuries.

Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, has denied any involvement in the failed coup in which more than 230 people were killed.

Lifting the state of emergency was one of the Turkish president's election campaign promises. The majority of those fired under the emergency are accused of links to Gulen.

In Turkey's Ground Forces, 3,077 officers have been dismissed, while in Navy the number was 1,126 and in Air Force, 1,949 officers and non-commissioned officers have been sacked.

The detentions show no sign of slowing down after hundreds of people including soldiers were taken into custody last week over Gulen links.

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