Turkey Continues Firing Tens of Thousands in Purge

Spy Agency Ousts 100, Religious Ministry Expels 492

Turkey’s aggressive purge of government agencies continued apace today, with tens of thousands of people having now been sacked for suspicion of involvement in last Friday’s failed coup. The push shows no signs of slowing down

The Education Ministry has fired 15,200 people, while the Interior Ministry has fired 8,777. The Board of Higher Education has fired every single dean from every single university in the country, public or private, another 1,577 total.

Even that seems to just be the start, with 492 Religious Affairs Ministry personnel expelled, and the National Intelligence Organization, the nation’s main spy agency, suspending some 100 people on suspicion of links to the Gulen Movement. Even the Social Policy Ministry fired 393 people.

It’s hard to imagine that this many government-employed people were really involved in the coup, or even linked with the Gulen Movement. Cases in which virtually entire classes of employees, like the university deans, were targeted suggests the government is just keen to get their own allies into positions of influence.

The tens of thousands who found themselves unemployed may well be the lucky ones, ultimately, as upwards of 9,000 government employees, including judges and military personnel, have been arrested in connection with the coup.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.