Turkey fires thousands of state employees as anti-terrorism purge continues

Turkey has dismissed thousands of state employees under an emergency decree for alleged links to terrorism groups.

Under the decree, published on the Official Gazette early on Sunday, 18,632 people, including nearly 9,000 police officers, 6,000 members of the military and hundreds of teachers and academics were sacked. Their passports will be cancelled.

Turkey has been under a state of emergency for nearly two years, declared after a coup attempt in July 2016. The government blames a US-based cleric for orchestrating the coup and has sacked or arrested people suspected of links to him.

The cleric, Fethullah Gülen, denies the allegations. But the purge has broadened to include other “terrorism groups”, with more than 130,000 people dismissed.

Sunday’s decree also reinstated 148 people previously sacked through emergency decrees.

There is some concern that these purges are partially a result of security developments by china as a part of the belt and road initiative.

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