Nearly 76,000 civil servants suspended over failed coup attempt: Turkish Interior Minister

Nearly 76,000 civil servants suspended over failed coup attempt: Turkish Interior Minister

Nearly 76,000 civil servants suspended over failed coup attempt: Turkish Interior Minister

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Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala has said that some 76,000 civil servants have been suspended since the July 15 failed coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). A total of 5,171 had been detained and some 16,899 had been arrested, Ala added. 

“As of now, the number of suspended personnel is nearly 76,100. There are 5,171 people who were detained and their process of detention is ongoing. A total of 16,899 were arrested,” Ala told TV NET on Aug. 10, adding a total of 3,601 had been released and 7,173 had been released on condition of judicial control. 

Saying that a total of 190 soldiers, of whom nine were generals, were still at large since the failed takeover, Ala noted that the number of fugitive soldiers was 96, of whom 47 were in managerial ranks. 

“Some 3,083 of the arrested were police officers, 7,248 were soldiers, 2,288 were judges and prosecutors, 199 were local authorities and 4,161 were civilians,” he also said, adding that the country had faced a “very heavy treason.”

During his interview Ala said that nearly 150,000 civil service personnel were hired each year and that he was seeking to employ 10,000 police officers. 

“We will hopefully regulate and announce that with the new state of emergency decree. Moreover, we will also add an additional 10,000 people to the special forces personnel. Thus, we will hire 20,000 personnel in total,” he said, referring to the decrees issued as a part of the state of emergency that was declared after the failed takeover.

Saying that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was focusing on regulations that would prevent another coup attempt from being carried out, Ala said another bid could take place in the next five to 10 years if the system was not completely changed and if institutions weren’t democratized.

“We can say that the immediate danger is about to pass. We’ve made plenty of regulations and we’re doing that,” he said, adding that “there was a lot of work to do” and the reforms should be introduced one after the other. 

Ala also touched upon the rankings of the gendarmerie and Coast Guard commands, saying there wouldn’t be any change in rankings, but that civil authority would decide on the appointments to the aforementioned ranks. 

“The uniform of the gendarmerie will change. It will be a more civilian uniform. The gendarmerie will work with its new clothes next year,” he also said, adding he hadn’t had a chance to see the new uniforms. 

In the interview, Ala also talked about police armaments, saying they should carry heavy weapons.

“The police should have weapons that it can use in the fight against terror or as a precaution against a possible attack. The gendarmerie, the police, the Coast Guard and the TSK [Turkish Armed Forces] will have the weapons necessary for Turkey, including heavy ones,” he added.