21,000 teach­ers the sub­ject of purge

7 Days in Dubai - - DRIVEN -

Turkey has in­ten­si­fied a sweep­ing crack­down on the me­dia, the mil­i­tary, the courts and the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem fol­low­ing last week’s at­tempted coup.

Tens of thou­sands of teach­ers and other state em­ploy­ees are one of the big­gest tar­gets for dis­missal in a purge that raised con­cerns about basic free­doms and the ef­fec­tive­ness of key in­sti­tu­tions.

The Turk­ish gov­ern­ment fo­cused in par­tic­u­lar on teach­ers sus­pected of back­ing Fri­day’s failed up­ris­ing, tak­ing steps to re­voke the li­cences of 21,000 teach­ers at pri­vate schools and sack­ing or de­tain­ing half a dozen uni­ver­sity pres­i­dents.

Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan has ac­cused USbased cleric Fethul­lah Gulen, whose fol­low­ers run a world­wide net­work of schools, of fo­ment­ing the in­sur­rec­tion, which was quashed by se­cu­rity forces and pro­test­ers loyal to the gov­ern­ment.

Gulen, who lives in self­im­posed ex­ile in Penn­syl­va­nia and has de­nied the coup ac­cu­sa­tions, is in­creas­ingly be­com­ing a source of ten­sion be­tween the US and Turkey, which has re­quested the cleric’s ex­tra­di­tion.

The two NATO allies co­op­er­ate in the US-led war against ISIS, with Amer­i­can mil­i­tary planes fly­ing mis­sions from Turkey’s In­cir­lik air base into neigh­bour­ing Iraq and Syria.

Yes­ter­day, Er­do­gan was lead­ing an emer­gency meet­ing of Turkey’s Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, the high­est ad­vi­sory body on se­cu­rity is­sues. The pres­i­dent, who has said he nar­rowly es­caped be­ing killed or cap­tured by rene­gade mil­i­tary units, pre­vi­ously de­clared that an “im­por­tant de­ci­sion” would be an­nounced.

While Turks spec­u­lated on what the new mea­sure might be, it was al­most cer­tain to bol­ster an ag­gres­sive cam­paign against per­ceived en­e­mies across a wide spec­trum of Turk­ish so­ci­ety, from schools to the courts to the high­est lev­els of gov­ern­ment.

SUP­PORT: For the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment af­ter the failed coup

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