Turkey dismisses thousands ahead of failed coup anniversary

Turkey dismisses more than 7,000 police, ministry staff and academics.

Ben Ariel, Canada,

Flag of Turkey
Flag of Turkey

Turkey on Friday dismissed more than 7,000 police, ministry staff and academics, ahead of the one-year anniversary of a failed coup attempt, the BBC reported.

The mass dismissal comes as part of a major purge of state institutions, including the judiciary, police and education, in response to last year's unrest.

On Saturday, Turkey will mark one year since rogue soldiers bombed buildings and opened fire on civilians. More than 250 people were killed in the violence.

The Turkish authorities accuse a movement loyal to Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen of organizing the July 2016 plot to bring down President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Gulen, who leads from exile a popular movement called Hizmet and split from Erdogan over a corruption scandal in 2013, has denied involvement in the coup and has hinted that the uprising by members of the country’s military could have been “staged” by the government.

Washington has so far resisted calls from the Turkish authorities to extradite him.

The latest dismissals came in a decree from June 5 but only published by the official government Gazette on Friday, according to the BBC.

It says the employees are people "who it's been determined have been acting against the security of the state or are members of a terrorist organization".

Among those listed were 2,303 police officers and 302 university academics. Another 342 retired officers and soldiers were stripped of their ranks and grades.

The mass dismissal came one day after Turkish police detained a prominent film director who made a controversial movie showing Erdogan under gunpoint in a bloody coup d'etat.

The state-run Anadolu news agency said the director, Ali Avci, was detained on suspicion of links to Gulen’s group.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)