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Turkey Sacks about 4,000 Officials as Part of Post-coup Crackdown

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April,30 \NewNews

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he gives a speech on April 28, 2017 during the Atlantic Council summit in Istanbul. (Photo by AFP)

Turkey has sacked around 4,000 public officials and banned televised dating programs as part of its crackdown on people alleged to be linked to last year’s failed coup.

On Saturday, Turkey’s Justice Ministry released a decree with the names of 3,975 dismissed officials, 1,000 of whom formerly worked for the ministry and 1,000 others were employed by the army.

Some 100 pilots were among sacked army personnel, while the names of about 500 state-employed academics were also included in the decree.

The move comes just days after Turkey suspended over 9,000 members of the country’s police force and sacked 1,000 people for alleged links to US-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara claims orchestrated last year’s failed putsch.

Meanwhile, in a separate decree, Turkey also banned television dating programs, a move which had been hinted by Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus last month.

“In radio and television broadcasting services, such programs in which people are introduced to find a friend … cannot be permitted,” read the decree.

In March, Kurtulmus had remarked that some “strange programs,” which were endangering “the institution of family” would be scrapped.

Earlier in the day, a Turkish internet monitoring group announced that Ankara had blocked all access inside the country to the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

This image obtained from Dogan News Agency (DHA) shows Turkish police officers escorting people after their arrest for alleged links with US-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, on April 26, 2017 in the central city of Kayseri.

The latest moves come around two weeks after a tightly contested referendum approved the expansion of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers, according to preliminary results.

Turkey witnessed a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, when a faction of the Turkish military declared that the government of Erdogan was no more in charge of the country.

A few hours later, however, the coup was suppressed. Almost 250 people were killed and nearly 2,200 others wounded in the abortive coup.

Since then, Ankara has been engaged in suppressing the media and opposition groups, who were believed to have played a role in the failed putsch.

Over 40,000 people have been arrested and more than 120,000 others sacked or suspended from a wide range of professions, including soldiers, police, teachers, and public servants, over alleged links with the failed coup.

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