Turkey purges thousands of public servants over foiled coup attempt

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Turkish protesters Istanbul Turkey
Anti-coup protesters after the 15 July 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt in Bağcılar, İstanbul, Turkey. Photo by Maurice Flesier via Wikipedia Commons

The Turkish government has escalated its nationwide crackdown on anyone who have possible ties to plotters of last week’s failed coup attempt because of this tens of thousands of public servants across the country has lost their job.

As of yesterday, the Turkish media has reported that 15,200 people from the Ministry of Education, 8,777 employees from the Interior Ministry and 1,577 university deans from the Board of Higher Education were requested to resign. An additional of 492 staff employed by the Directorate of Religious Affairs, 393 personnel from Family and Social Policy Ministry and 257 clerics, preachers and religious teachers working at the office of the prime minister were also sacked.

On top of this, there are more than 9,000 people who have been detained by the government. Eighty-five generals and admirals are also said to have been jailed pending trial over their suspected roles in the coup attempt while a dozen more are still being interrogated. Among those who were formally arrested were former air force commander Gen. Akin Ozturk who is the alleged ringleader of the July 15 uprising, and the commander of Turkey’s 2nd Army who was in charge of counteracting possible threats to the homeland from Syria, Iran and Iraq, Gen. Adem Hududi. Lt. Col. Erkan Kivrak, who serves as Erdoğan’s Air Force adviser has also been detained at a hotel in Antalya, Turkey where he was vacationing.

According to the Turkish government, the coup attempt on Friday has resulted in the death of 208 government supporters and 24 coup plotters. A US-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen was is being pointed out by the government as the brain behind the coup. The Turkish government has demanded his extradition. Meanwhile, Gulen has denied this allegation.

A US-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen was is being pointed out by the government as the brain behind the coup. He lives in exile in Pennsylvania.

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has discussed Gulen’s status during a phone call with US President Barack Obama.

The Turkish government has demanded his extradition. Meanwhile, Gulen has denied this allegation. Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Erdoğan said that the government has provided the US government through Numan Kurtulmus dossiers that are now being reviewed to determine whether a formal extradition request is needed.

Thousands of pro-government demonstrators gathered yesterday in the conservative district of Fatih in the city of Istanbul, waving flags, chanting and singing songs of praise for their president and demanding death penalty for those are responsible for the failed rebellion.

Erdoğan has recently made a series of television guesting wherein he described the dramatic details of how he narrowly escaped death on the night that the coup plotters attacked the resort town of Marmaris where he was vacationing.

The Turkish government is now strongly contemplating on reinstating the death penalty. however, such move will be the end of their country’s attempt to join the European Union.

“We thank our European friends for their support against the coup, however, their sentences starting with ‘but’ did not please us at all”, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said.

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