Purging on: Turkey has fired 113,000 officials, judges, prosecutors
Wednesday, 05 April 2017

Turkish authorities dismissed 45 more judges and prosecutors in the latest purge within the judiciary following last July's failed coup, state media reported. Since July 15, at least 113,000 people have been suspended or sacked from their public sector roles, or detained in connection with the group accused of trying to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, New Arab reported.

Ankara has accused US-based opposition leader Fethullah Gulen with ordering the attempted putsch, claims he strongly denies.

According to the Hurriyet daily, over 4,000 prosecutors and judges have been dismissed over alleged links to Gulen's Islamic movement since July. Those suspended in the latest round by the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) include the three judges who ordered the release of 21 suspects in a trial of Gulen's "media structure" last week, state-run news agency Anadolu said.

The HSYK is a key judicial council that appoints and removes personnel in the judiciary. Hours after the order on Friday, the suspects were not released because the ruling was challenged and new arrest warrants were issued, Anadolu reported.

Twenty-nine suspects are on trial including pop music singer Atilla Tas, accused of being a member of an armed terror group, Hurriyet said. The suspects include journalists from different media organisations and an individual accused of using the pseudonym Fuat Avni to run a whistleblowing Twitter account. The purportedly pro-Gulen account previously released sensitive claims about Erdogan's entourage.

Turkey's wide-scale purge has been criticized by the West and activists who accuse the government of using the coup as a pretext to crack down on opponents, but the government insists it is a dealing with an extraordinary threat.

 


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