Turkey removes 3900 from civil service positions on alleged terrorist links News
Turkey removes 3900 from civil service positions on alleged terrorist links

Turkish authorities removed more than 3900 people from their positions in the civil service and military pursuant to a new national security law published [materials, in Turkish] on Saturday. Those removed included prison guards, clerks, academics, and employees of the religious affairs ministry, all of whom the government alleged [MEE report] had links to terrorist organizations. This is the latest action by the Turkish government since a state of emergency was issued after a failed coup attempt [BBC backgrounder] in July of last year. Also on Saturday, Turkey blocked [JURIST report] the website Wikipedia on the grounds that it posed a threat to national security.

Since a failed coup attempt in July the Turkish government has taken several controversial steps to strengthen its power. In October, Human Rights Watch warned [JURIST report] that the emergency decrees put in place after the failed coup had resulted in serious human rights violations. In February, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights urged [JURIST report] Turkey to “change course and to display the responsibility and tolerance expected in a democratic society.” The commissioner’s document came amid increased scrutiny of Turkey’s treatment of journalists and other members of Turkish society, allegedly leading to the repression of free speech and self-censorship. The Turkish Parliament has approved a plan [JURIST report] to be voted on later this year which would increase presidential power within the country and would allow President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to stay in office until 2029.