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Turkey dismissed more than 40,000 civil servants

Associated Press Associated Press 2/09/2016

ISTANBUL — The Turkish government announced Friday that nearly 43,000 people have been expelled from their jobs in public institutions for alleged ties to terror organizations endangering national security in the wake of an aborted coup in July.

Lists of names and positions published by the government's official gazette show the wide-scale purge Turkey has undertaken since the coup. The government blames the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen for the plot that killed at least 270 people, and labels the network a terror organization. Gulen denies any involvement.

Opposition education syndicate Egitim-Sen said in a statement Friday that "the government is using the process to target those who do not think like them."

It said more than 100 of their members have been "dismissed in an arbitrary way," including 30 who signed a January declaration by more than 1,000 academics denouncing military operations against Kurdish rebels in Turkey.

The dismissals are allowed through the state of emergency, declared following the coup attempt. The highest number of dismissals is from the Ministry of National Education with 28,163 people.

Some 35,000 people have been detained for questioning and more than 17,000 of those have been formally arrested to face trial, including soldiers, police, judges and journalists.

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