Turkish sacks 18,500 state employees in new decree

Vastavam web: Turkish authorities ordered the dismissal of more than 18,500 state employees including police officers, soldiers and academics, in a decree published today.The Official Gazette said 18,632 people had been sacked including 8,998 police officers in the emergency decree over suspected links to terror organisations and groups that “act against national security”.Some 3,077 army soldiers were also dismissed as well as 1,949 air force personnel and 1,126 from the naval forces.Authorities also sacked 199 academics, according to the new decree, while 148 state employees from the military and ministries were reinstated.

Turkey has been under a state of emergency since the July 2016 attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.Turkish media dubbed the decree as the “last” with officials indicating the state of emergency could end as early as Monday.The emergency has been renewed seven times and tSe latest period is officially due to end on July 19.Turkey accuses US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen of orchestrating the attempted coup. The majority of those fired under the emergency are accused of links to Gulen.

The government refers to the movement as the “Fethullah Terrorist Organisation”. Gulen strongly denies any coup links and insists his movement is a peaceful organisation.Today’s decree shut down 12 associations across the country as well as three newspapers and a television channel.Human rights defenders including Amnesty International have lambasted the purges as arbitrary but Turkey says they are necessary to remove the Gulen movement’s infiltration of state bodies.