Turkey fires over 18,000 civil servants for alleged terror links

Turkey fires over 18,000 civil servants for alleged terror links

The country's Official Gazette said that a total of 6,152 personnel from the army, air force and navy had been sacked, as well as 8,998 police officers.

Moreover, 1,052 people, including judicial candidates and civil servants were dismissed from the Ministry of Justice.

Turkey ordered the detention of 331 soldiers on Friday in two operations targeting alleged supporters of the US-based Islamic cleric who Ankara says orchestrated an attempted coup two years ago, state media and Istanbul police said.

Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States, has denied any involvement in the coup, in which more than 200 people were killed.

Human rights groups say the purge has also targeted the government's political opponents and critics and has swept up innocent people, as well.

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The current state of emergency ends on July 18, unless extended for another term by the president and approved by parliament.

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 state of emergency since July 2016 following an attempted coup that tried to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Thousands have also been dismissed, suspended or arrested over suspected ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a bloody insurgency against Turkey since 1984.

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

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