Turkey fires thousands of civil servants ahead of Erdogan's swearing

Lester Mason
July 11, 2018

It said 8,998 police officers were ousted from the Security General Directorate, while 649 others were dismissed from the Gendarmerie General Command.

This month is expected to cancel the two-year state of emergency imposed after the coup attempt in July 2016.

Turkey accuses US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen of orchestrating the attempted coup.

Critics say Mr Erdogan is using the extra powers permitted under emergency rule to target opponents, while human rights defenders have said the purges are arbitrary.

In total, 148 workers who had been previously sacked were reinstated to their positions.

But the government says they are necessary to remove a number of terrorist threats inside state institutions.

Among the powers he will have under constitutional changes approved in a referendum a year ago will be the right to start and end states of emergency unilaterally.

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.

"The (Gulen) organization is a religious structure in its basis, but the defendants on trial here are mostly people who've espoused a secular lifestyle", he said.

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.

With the decree, 12 foundations, three newspapers and one television station have been shut down as well, in addition to dismissals of public servants.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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