Turkey fires thousands in new wave of coup purges
ISTANBUL - Turkey has dismissed over 6,000 people and ordered the closure of dozens of associations under the state of emergency imposed after the July failed coup, in a purge that shows no sign of slowing.
More than 100,000 people have already been suspended or sacked so far in a crackdown on those alleged to have links to coup-plotters while dozens of media outlets have been shut down.
In the latest government decrees published late Friday, 2,687 police officers were dismissed.
Meanwhile, 1,699 civil servants were removed from the ministry of justice, plus 838 health officials and hundreds of employees from other ministries.
Another 631 academics and eight members of the Council of State were also dismissed.
The dismissals are permitted under the state of emergency, which was extended by another three months in October, and was originally imposed in the wake of the coup.
But its scope has been vehemently criticised by the European Union and human rights activists.
The three decrees also ordered the closure of more than 80 associations accused of "activities affecting the security of the state".
Critics have claimed that the crackdown goes well beyond the suspected coup plotters and targets anyone who has dared show opposition to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ankara blames the coup plot on US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen and says an unrelenting campaign is needed to root out his influence from public life. Gulen denies the allegations.
Turkey also argues the exceptional security measures are necessary in the face of rising threats from the Islamic State group and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
The country has been hit by two attacks this week, one claimed by the Islamic State group against a high-end Turkish nightclub, and the other which authorities blamed on the PKK in the western city of Izmir.