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Turkey sacks 15,000 more people as part of coup probe

Associated Press Associated Press 22/11/2016

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's government on Tuesday dismissed a further 15,000 people from the military, police and the civil service as part of an ongoing investigation into the failed military coup in July.

The government also shut down some 500 associations, 19 health establishments and nine media outlets within the two government decrees issued Tuesday.

Turkey has accused U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen of masterminding the failed July 15 attempt to topple the government and has launched a large-scale crackdown on his followers and institutions said to be run by his movement. Authorities have arrested close to 38,000 people and purged more than 100,000 others from government jobs.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that the civil service was still not entirely purged of Gulen's followers and vowed to take all measures necessary to eradicate the group.

"We know that the state is not fully cleared of this treacherous gang. They are still within the Armed Forces, they are still within the police, they are still within the judiciary and they are still within the various sections of the state," Erdogan said.

He added: "We won't allow them to destroy this country nor to crush the people. We will do whatever is necessary."

Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, has denied involvement in the coup

The government is also accused of using powers from a state of emergency declared after the coup to clamp down on other government critics.

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