Thousands of personnel dismissed over suspected links with terror groups

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published

Turkey issued a decree on Sunday dismissing more than 18,000 personnel over suspected links to Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and other terror organizations, ahead of this month's expected lifting of a two-year-old state of emergency imposed after an attempted coup in July 2016.

The decree follows President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's victory in June 24 presidential election and comes before he swears his oath on Monday, inaugurating an executive presidency.

The Official Gazette said 18,632 people had been dismissed including 8,998 police officers in the emergency decree over suspected links to terror organizations 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.

Another 1,052 civil servants from the justice ministry and linked institutions have been fired as well as 649 from the gendarmerie and 192 from the coast guard.

Authorities also dismissed 199 academics, according to the new decree, while 148 state employees from the military and ministries were reinstated. Twelve associations, three newspapers and a TV channel were shut down.

Turkey declared a state of emergency following the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, organized by the followers of FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fethullah Gülen that resulted in the deaths of nearly 250 people and more than 2,200 injuries.

Gülen, who Turkey has requested to be extradited from the U.S., is also accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the parallel state.

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