From Reuters’ Gulsen Solaker and Ece Toksabay:
ANKARA, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Turkey suspended nearly 2,000 teachers and school employees on Wednesday, an official from the Ministry of Education said, as part of the widening purge that has followed a failed coup in July.
More than 125,000 people have been dismissed from the police, the military, the judiciary, the civil service or the education system, and almost 40,000 arrested, for alleged connections with the coup attempt, during which at least 240 people were killed.
The official told Reuters that 1,980 teachers and school employees had been suspended pending investigation. No other information was immediately available.
Turkey says followers of the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen have infiltrated state institutions and plotted to overthrow the government. On Wednesday, President Tayyip Erdogan said that the 22-year-old police officer who assassinated Russia’s ambassador in Ankara this week was also one of Gulen’s followers.
Gulen himself has condemned the coup and the assassination and denied any involvement.
Rights groups and some of Turkey’s Western allies fear that Erdogan is using the coup as a pretext to crack down on dissent.
Bold print mine.
In the aftermath of the July coup, Erdogan referred to it as a “gift from God.” Coupled with the jailing of journalists – no country jails as many as does Turkey – it is hard not to draw the conclusion.
Here are Scathing Purple Musings posts from this past summer’s coup.