922 more, including 120 academics, 190 diplomats, dismissed by Turkish government

With two new decrees that Turkey issued on Friday morning, enabled by state of emergency powers, 922 more people, including 120 academics and 190 diplomats, were purged from public service while three more media organizations and foundations were also shut down.

The new decrees were published in the Official Gazette and numbered 693 and 694, an addition to several others that have led to the purge of more than 146,000 people since a failed coup on July 15, 2016.

According to the new decrees, 922 people from state institutions, including 142 from the Justice Ministry, 29 from the Interior Ministry, 19 from the Defense Ministry and 120 academics from universities, were fired and 13 retired Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) officers were stripped of their rank.

Two newspapers, one news agency and three foundations were also shut down by the decrees. The Rojeva Medya newspaper, the Gazete Şûjin online news outlet and the Diyarbakır-Dicle Medya news agency were shut down.

Meanwhile, NTV reported on Friday that Turkey’s Justice Ministry will employ 4,000 new judges and prosecutors and 2,000 interns for judgeships and Turkey’s Security Directorate General will recruit 20,000 policemen following the issuance of two state decrees that purged 922 people from public service.

According to the report, 29,000 people, including 20,000 policemen and 7,500 night patrolmen, will be recruited to the Security Directorate General. Three thousand positions were assigned to the Special Operations Directorate and 200 positions to the Coast Guard Command.

The Justice Ministry will employ 4,000 new judges and prosecutors and 2,000 interns for the position of judge. One hundred positions were opened for inspectors on the Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK). The government is being widely criticized for taking the judiciary under its control and imposing pressure on its members to make politically motivated decisions.

Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy and main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies have protested new government decrees issued on Friday and said Turkish Parliament is de facto abolished with the new decrees.

CHP deputy chair Zeynep Altıok criticized the new government decrees for dispossessing deputies of their authority to legislate and said: “With these two KHKs [state decrees] issued today, significant legal and administrative changes were introduced in Turkey. The democratic parliamentarian system was removed before elections were made and TBMM [Turkish Grand National Assembly] was de facto abolished. It is a legal and democratic scandal that deputies can be investigated because of “their pre and post-election activities.’”

HDP Şanlıurfa deputy and spokesperson Osman Baydemir also criticized the decrees and said the parliament will be totally deactivated with these decrees.

“Parliament was made nonfunctional after April 16 referendum. This last KHK aims to totally deactivate the parliament. For instance, the law number 83 in the constitution concerning the immunity of parliamentarians is removed. A prosecutor is allowed to investigate and prosecute a deputy whenever he wills. It is an illegal decree which will not require the parliamentary procedures to be implemented. Can a KHK remove Constitutional law?” asked Baydemir.

CHP İstanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu commented on the decrees in a social media message and said: “Ankara Chief Prosecutor was appointed as a kayyum [government-appointed trustee] for all deputies with a 694 numbered KHK which was issued one night unexpectedly.”

According to Altıok, Turkish state is being restructured around President Erdoğan with regulations which are not linked to the state of emergency rule.

“With the changes, some of prime minister’s authorities were transferred to the president. Intelligence is centralized and the permission to investigate and testify MİT [Turkish National Intelligence Agency] Undersecretary [Hakan Fidan] was taken from the prime minister and given to the president. They are trying to prevent Hakan Fidan from speaking out in case an opposition prime minister wins 2019 elections.”

Baydemir argued that the fact that deputies could be investigated while permission is required from local authorities to launch an investigation against state employees is a “war declaration against the will of the nation.”

4,000 news judges and prosecutors will be employed and a party judiciary, a party police service, and a party state are being founded, said Baydemir, implying that all institutions of the state were controlled by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The Turkish government has suspended or dismissed more than 146,000 people, including soldiers, judges, teachers, police officers and civil servants, since a coup attempt last summer through government decrees issued as part of a state of emergency.

CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu recently said Erdoğan has occupied all state institutions by turning last year’s July 15 coup attempt into an opportunity.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has occupied all state institutions by turning last year’s July 15 coup attempt into an opportunity.

The Turkish government has suspended or dismissed more than 146,000 people, including soldiers, judges, teachers, police officers and civil servants, since July 15 through government decrees issued as part of a state of emergency.

At least 23,427 academics (BBC reports), 4,272 judges and prosecutors and 22,920 military personnel have been purged from their jobs due to their real or alleged links to the Gülen movement, accused by Turkish government of mounting the botched coup attempt, a claim the movement denies.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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