Over 15,500 public personnel dismissed with new emergency decrees in Turkey
REUTERS photoMore than 15,500 public personnel in Turkey have been dismissed from their posts with two new state of emergency decrees, the Official Gazette reported early on Nov. 22.
A total of 15,726 personnel have been dismissed, mostly from the police, over suspected links to the movement of the U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is believed to have masterminded the failed July 15 coup attempt in which 248 people were killed around the country.
Some 7,586 personnel from the police force, 1,259 from ground forces command, 391 from naval forces command, 338 from air forces command and 403 from the gendarmerie have been dismissed with the new decree.
The total number dismissed since Turkey’s thwarted coup now exceeds 110,000, according to Reuters.
A total of 20,088 people, including soldiers and military students, had been dismissed from the army in line with the ongoing investigation into the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) before the Nov. 22 decrees.
Some 2,696 personnel from the Interior Ministry and its related institutions, 1,184 from the Higher Education Board (YÖK), 752 from the Health Ministry, 526 from the Finance Ministry, 131 from the Family and Social Policies Ministry, 119 from the National Education Ministry, 94 from the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), 73 from the Energy Ministry, 52 from the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry, 45 from the state-run broadcaster TRT, 23 from the Defense Ministry, 15 from the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), 14 from the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), 13 from the Youth and Sports Ministry, 11 from the Culture and Tourism Ministry and one from the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) were dismissed with the latest decrees.
Meanwhile, 157 public personnel have returned to their duties with the new decrees. Some 36 have returned to the Diyanet, one to TİKA, one to the General Directorate for Foundations, 41 to the Social Security Institution (SGK), 10 to the Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry, one to the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry, 18 to the Health Ministry, 31 to the Transport Ministry and 16 to higher education institutions.
The decrees also announced the closure of 550 associations, 19 private health institutions and nine media outlets. Gündem Çocuk, a child rights organization; Barış Derneği, a peace organization, and the Özgürlükçü Hukukçular Derneği, a lawyers’ association, were among the closed associations.
The Contemporary Lawyers’ Association (ÇHD), which is an organization that provides judicial support to victims in major contemporary human rights abuse cases, is also among the closed associations.
According to the decrees, the dismissals and the closures were implemented due to the relevant persons and associations’ alleged “contact with terrorist organizations, groups or structures that commit acts against Turkey’s national security.”
The regulation was met with a harsh reaction from main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who said “no distinction between martyrs can be made.”
“Those who passed this regulation are traitors,” Kılıçdaroğlu said at the weekly parliamentary group meeting of his party in Ankara on Nov. 22, also addressing Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.
“The brothers and children of the July 15 martyrs will be able to abstain from military service if they wish. However, the brothers and children of martryrs who died battling the [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] PKK will continue to have to do their military service. Let Binali Yıldırım and the ministers hear it: Those who came up with this regulation are traitors,” the CHP head added.
Turkey declared a three-month-long state of emergency after the failed coup attempt, which was later extended for another three months.