Turkey shuts down Kurdish media, fires civil servants
Turkey has closed down 15 media outlets and dismissed over 10,000 civil servants as the Ankara government widens its crackdown on opposition following the abortive July 15 military coup.
The closures and dismissals were ordered in two new decrees issued under a state of emergency on Saturday, Turkish media reported on Saturday.
Academics, teachers and health workers were among those removed over their suspected links with US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for orchestrating the failed putsch. Gulen denies the accusation.
This is while almost all of the 15 media outlets, which were shut down, reported from Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast.
Additionally, the decrees ordered restrictions on lawyers’ ability to privately meet with their clients. They further stipulate restructuring the appointment of university rectors through abolishing elections and allowing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to directly appoint the rectors from the candidates nominated by the Council of Higher Education.
The coup began when a faction of the Turkish military declared it was in control of the country and the government of Erdogan was no more in charge.
Tanks, helicopters, and soldiers clashed with police and people on the streets of Ankara and Istanbul. Over 240 people were killed on all sides in the attempted coup d’état.
The state of emergency was first imposed a few days after the putsch bid. It was extended for another 12 weeks earlier this month.
The government in Ankara has launched a suppression campaign on those believed to have played a role in the failed coup, in a move that has sparked criticisms from human rights groups.
It has shut down over 160 media outlets, formally arrested more than 37,000 people and sacked or suspended 100,000 civil servants, judges, prosecutors, police and others.