Turkey fires 3,900 in second post-referendum purge

Turkey on Saturday expelled more than 3,900 people from the civil service and military as threats to national security, in the second major purge since President Tayyip Erdogan was granted sweeping new powers.

Erdogan won those concessions in a referendum in mid-April, which rights groups and some Western allies believe has brought the country, a NATO-member and European Union candidate, closer to one-man rule.

The expulsions – carried out in conjunction with media curbs – affected prison guards, clerks, academics, employees of the religious affairs directorate and 1,200 members of the armed forces including nearly 600 officers.

They were fired for suspected links to “terrorist organisations and structures presenting a threat to national security”, according to a decree in the Official Gazette.

On Wednesday more than 9,000 police were suspended and another 1,000 detained for alleged links to the network of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for the coup attempt last July in which he has denied all involvement.

In all, some 120,000 people have been suspended or sacked from their jobs and more than 40,000 arrested in the aftermath of the failed coup, which killed 240 people, mostly civilians.

Read: Erdogan slams EU’s decision to monitor Turkey’s politics

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