Turkey fires thousands of public servants in anti-terror purge

Turkey's state of emergency, which was declared after a coup attempt in July 2016, is set to expire on July 18 this year.

The current state of emergency ends on July 18, unless extended for another term by the president and approved by parliament.

Turkey has been under a state of emergency since July 2016 following an attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

On Sunday, the official gazette said 8,998 police officers were ousted from the security general directorate, while 649 others were dismissed from the gendarmerie general command.

Critics say Erdogan is using the extra powers permitted under emergency rule, renewed seven times, to target opponents, with human rights defenders including Amnesty International lambasting the purges as arbitrary.

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Prosecutors in Istanbul issued arrest warrants for 271 soldiers, 122 of whom are still on active duty, as part of a probe into followers of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen in the Turkish armed forces, news agency Anadolu reported. Erdogan has hinted it may be lifted.

Turkish authorities had already dismissed around 160,000 civil servants since the failed military intervention, the United Nations human rights office said in March.

Authorities also sacked 199 academics, according to the new decree, while 148 state employees from the military and ministries were reinstated.

The detentions show no sign of slowing after hundreds of people, including soldiers, were taken into custody last week over alleged Gulen links.

Sunday's decree also banned 12 civil-society groups, three newspapers and a television broadcaster.

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