Turkey launches new wave of anti-Gulen firings


Thousands have been fired in the latest push against supporters of Fethullah Gulen, after Turkish lawmakers voted to prolong the state of emergency. The government also threatened to strip citizenship of suspects abroad.

 Over 6,000 people lost their jobs, including 2,687 police officers, 1,699 Justice Ministry officials and hundreds of academics and Health Ministry employees, according to Turkey’s Official Gazette.

On Friday, the government also declared it has a right to sell companies seized in the months-long purge against the allegedsupporters of cleric Fethullah Gulen. It also ordered the closure of over 80 associations for “activities affecting the security of the state.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling AKP accuse the US-based cleric of running a parallel state and organizing a failed coup last July. In response to the coup attempt, the government declared a state of emergency and launched an unprecedented crackdown on anyone suspected of working with Gulen. The latest wave of firings brings the total number of purged officials to some 120,000. Some 41,000 people have been jailed.

Security boost

According to the latest announcement, the government also passed a decree saying that Turkish suspects abroad might have their citizenship removed if they fail to return to the country within three months.

Also, Ankara allowed private security guards to carry guns while on duty, under certain conditions. The move is an apparent response to the nightclub terror strike that left 39 dead.

The parliament voted to extend the state of emergency earlier this week. Many international officials have repeatedly criticized the emergency measures, saying they were used to target all opponents of the ruling camp.

dj/sms (Reuters, AFP)