Turkey’s education board demands 1,577 university deans resign
ISTANBUL – Turkey’s High Education Board on Tuesday ordered the resignation of 1,577 deans at all universities, state broadcaster TRT reported, part of a wide-ranging purge of dozens of state institutions following a failed coup attempt.
The resignations are being sought at both state and privately run universities, TRT reported. The government has vowed that those behind the July 15 failed military intervention would pay a heavy price after more than 200 people were killed.
Separately, state news agency Anadolu said 399 employees of the Ministry of Family and Social Policies had been stripped of their responsibilities.
Thousands of others have been suspended from the police force, the military, Finance Ministry and other public sector positions.
Latest news following the attempted military coup in Turkey on July 19
5:20 pm State-run Anadolu news agency reports that Turkey’s Board of Higher Education has requested the resignations of 1,577 university deans, effectively dismissing them.
Tuesday’s announcement comes right on the heels of an announcement by the Ministry of National Education that it has dismissed 15,200 personnel over their alleged involvement with a group the government claims is responsible for Friday’s failed coup.
Of the deans dismissed, 1,176 worked in public universities and 401 in private institutions.
Sweeping purges in the aftermath of the thwarted coup has seen the dismissal of thousands from the judiciary, police force, military and bureaucracy.
5 pm The state-run Anadolu news agency reports that Turkey’s ministry of education has sacked 15,200 personnel for alleged involvement with a group the government claims is responsible for Friday’s failed coup. The National Education Ministry said Tuesday that the staff are in both urban and rural establishments, and that an investigation has been launched against them.
The government accuses U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gulen of plotting the coup and wants him extradited.
Sweeping purges in the aftermath of the coup have seen the dismissal of thousands from the judiciary, police force, military, administrative and religious affairs departments.
4:30 pm The state-run Anadolu news agency is reporting that Turkey’s media regulatory agency has canceled all broadcast rights and licenses for any media outlets that are linked to or are supportive of the group the government holds responsible for Friday night’s failed coup.
The agency said Tuesday that the Supreme Board of Radio and Television voted unanimously to revoke permissions for “any radio or television outlet connected with or supportive of” the group linked to cleric Fetullah Gulen, who resides in the United States. The government accuses him of plotting the coup and wants him extradited.
The vague directive doesn’t identify specific media outlets, leaving it open for interpretation. The Turkish Journalist Association said they are discussing the new directive and have no immediate comment.
Domestic and international groups have condemned the crackdown against media outlets in the aftermath of the attempted coup.
3:20 pm Turkey’s deputy prime minister says dossiers containing details of activities of the U.S-based cleric accused of plotting the failed coup have been sent to the U.S. Numan Kurtulmus says Tuesday he can’t go into the details of the files but said they include the past actions of the group led by Fethullah Gulen. They may also include new evidence that emerges from the current investigation. He said an extradition order will follow.
He said 9,000 people have been detained so far, of whom 80 were later released.
Religious authorities announced they have fired 492 staff, including clerics, preachers and religious teachers on suspicion they are linked to the botched coup.
2:45 pm Turkey’s deputy prime minister has compared the movement of the U.S-based cleric accused of plotting the failed coup to the militant Islamic State group. In comments to reporters Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said the movement of Fethullah Gulen has deviant religious ideology “no different than IS in the slightest.”
He added if they had succeeded, the Gulen movement “would have taken Turkey back 40-50 years and could have broken up the country like Syria.”
The government is asking the U.S. to extradite the cleric.
2:40 pm Turkey’s state run Anadolu news agency reports that 257 people working at the office of the prime minister have been dismissed and their identification seized.
Tuesday’s dismissals are over suspicion of their involvement in the movement linked to Friday night’s attempted coup.
Sweeping purges in the aftermath of the coup have seen the dismissal of thousands from the judiciary, police force, military, bureaucracy and religious affairs departments.
2:20 pm Turkey’s central bank has cut a key interest rate to help shore up the economy, days after an attempted coup.
In a statement Tuesday, the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee said it has reduced its overnight marginal funding rate from nine per cent to 8.75 per cent. All other interest rates were left unchanged.
The cut in the marginal rate is intended to shore up liquidity in the economy amid market concerns over the impact of Friday’s attempted coup.
Though the rate-setting body didn’t mention the coup directly, it said recent measures “have increased the resilience of the economy against shocks.”
Turkish financial markets have been volatile since the coup. Despite a modest rally Tuesday, Turkish stocks are still way down from pre-coup levels, as is the Turkish lira.
2:15 pm The U.N. human rights chief is expressing alarm about the mass suspension or removals of judges in Turkey after a failed military coup and is calling on its leaders to strengthen democratic institutions.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein also decried comments from some officials that the death penalty could be reinstated, saying such a move would be “a big step in the wrong direction” and violate Turkey’s responsibilities under international law.
In a statement Tuesday, Zeid praised Turks who “bravely took to the streets to defend their country,” and urged authorities to respect “fair trial standards” for those responsible for Friday’s failed coup.
He said it is “particularly crucial to ensure that human rights are not squandered in the name of security and in the rush to punish those perceived to be responsible.”
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