Turkey’s ministry of education announced Tuesday it sacked 15,200 personnel for alleged involvement with a group the government claims plotted Friday’s deadly failed coup, in the latest mass crackdown against government workers there.
Separately, Turkey’s Board of Higher Education asked 1,577 university deans to resign, effectively dismissing them, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
The National Education Ministry said Tuesday the fired staffers were in both urban and rural establishments, and that an investigation was launched against them. Of the deans dismissed, 1,176 worked in public universities and 401 in private institutions.
The government accused U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gulen of plotting the coup and demanded the U.S. extradite him. Turkey sent dossiers containing details of Gulen’s activities to the U.S., deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus said.
Earlier, Secretary of State John Kerry said that while he recognized the need to apprehend the coup plotters, “We caution against a reach that goes beyond that.”
Sweeping purges in the aftermath of the coup have seen the dismissal of thousands from the judiciary, police force, military, administrative and religious affairs departments.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Air Force adviser, Lt. Col. Erkan Kivrak, was detained at a hotel in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya while he was on vacation, Anadolu reported Tuesday without saying why. Dozens of senior military personnel have been arrested for their alleged roles in the thwarted coup.
Officials transferred Kivrak to the capital city, Ankara, state media added.
Also Tuesday, Anadolu reported that Turkey’s media regulatory agency canceled all broadcast rights and licenses for any media outlets linked to or supporting the group behind the failed coup.
The agency said the Supreme Board of Radio and Television voted unanimously to revoke permissions for “any radio or television outlet connected with or supportive of” the group linked to Gulen.
The vague directive doesn’t identify specific media outlets, leaving it open for interpretation. Officials at the Turkish Journalist Association said they were discussing the new directive and had no immediate comment.
Domestic and international groups have condemned the crackdown against media outlets in the aftermath of the attempted coup.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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