Turkey Suspends 13,000 Police Officers, Shuts Down TV station
Turkish authorities suspended nearly 13,000 police officers, detained dozens of air force officers and shut down a TV station on Tuesday, widening a state-ordered clampdown against perceived enemies in the wake of July’s failed coup.
The police headquarters said 12,801 officers, including 2,523 chiefs, were suspended because of their suspected links to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating the attempt to overthrow the government.
Gülen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, denies any link to the coup attempt, which led to the deaths of more than 240 people.
The suspensions were ordered hours after Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus announced that the cabinet had approved a 90-day extension to a state of emergency, renewing President Tayyip Erdoğan’s powers to govern by decree at least until January
The emergency extension, which parliamentary is likely to wave through, means Erdoğan can take decisions without oversight of the Constitutional Court, Turkey’s highest legal body.
As well as suspending five percent of the entire police force, the authorities detained 33 air force officers in raids across the country and the transmission of TV station IMC was cut following accusations of spreading “PKK propoganda.”
37 people working in the Interior Ministry’s headquarters had also been removed from their posts, although no explanation was given.
Since the July 15 insurrection, About 100,000 people in the military, civil service, police, judiciary and universities have been sacked or suspended from their jobs, and 32,000 arrested.