In Turkey / Türkiye

Hurriyet Daily News, Sept 2, 2016

ANKARA  – Thousands of public employees have been sacked with the latest state of emergency decrees that were published in the Official Gazette late on Sept. 1.

Turkish government Gazette where emergency measures to purge and arrest journalists, employees of state enterprises and others are announced

Turkish government Gazette where emergency measures to purge and arrest journalists, employees of state enterprises and others are announced

Three new state of emergency decrees were published, paving way for the dismissals of more than 40,000 public employees, of whom more than half of were from the Education Ministry, over their suspected links to the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) [sic].

A total of 28,163 personnel from the Education Ministry were dismissed, which was followed by the Health Ministry with 2,018 sacked personnel. Some 1,642 were dismissed from the Finance Ministry and related institutions.

Some 733 were dismissed from the Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry and associated institutions, while 439 personnel were dismissed from the Family and Social Policies Ministry.

In addition, a total of 369 personnel were removed from the Interior Ministry, of whom 24 were governors not currently on duty in any province and 102 deputy governors. Some 302 personnel were also dismissed from the Prime Ministry and 215 were removed from the Foreign Ministry.

Moreover, a total of 1,519 personnel were dismissed from Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet), in addition to 2,346 from the Higher Education Board (YÖK), 605 from the Social Security Institution (SGK) and 312 from state broadcaster TRT.

A total of 7,669 police, of whom 852 were police chiefs, were removed along with 323 personnel in the gendarmerie and two from Coastguard Command.

The dismissed personnel were evaluated to be members of or have contact with structures or groups that are determined by the National Security Council (MGK) to be acting against the national security of the state, Anadolu Agency reported.

According to the Official Gazette, 2,346 more academics have also been removed from universities. Since the July 15 coup attempt, Turkey has declared a three-month state of emergency and removed nearly 80,000 people from public duty, arresting many of them, accusing them of sympathizing with the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is believed to have orchestrated the failed seizure of government.

Turkey embarked on an all-out crackdown in state bodies in the wake of the coup bid to rid the country of what President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls the “virus” of Gülen’s influence.

The dismissed personnel will not be re-accepted to their posts, will not be assigned to public service, will be stripped of their passports, weapons and pilot licenses where applicable, will be evicted from public or military housing where applicable and will be prevented from becoming the founder, partner or employee of a private security company.

Another regulation involved in the decrees concerned the return of judges and prosecutors who had retired of their own will. The Gazette said retired judges and prosecutors would be allowed to return to work if they applied to do so in the next two months.

A controversial issue regarding the appointment of trustees to municipalities was also passed amid the state of emergency decrees. Trustees will be appointed to municipalities if mayors, deputy mayors or members of the municipal council are suspended on terror charges, according to the decree.

The names to be appointed will be determined by the interior minister if the suspension affects a metropolitan municipality and will be determined by the governor in other municipalities.

The aforementioned regulation regarding trustee appointments was previously included in the omnibus bill in parliament, but was later removed due to the opposition’s reaction against it.

Related readings:
Hundreds more journalists arrested as purge deepens in Turkey, report by Platform for Independent Journalism (P24) in Turkey, with related readings

Complete list of the thousands of academics who have been fired from their jobs, published on ‘Freedom for Turkish Academics’, Sept 3, 2016

Turkish journalist writes of her 24 hours in detention under Turkey’s emergency law, by Tugba Tekerek, English translation by Turkish Minute, August 28, 2016

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