President Recep Erdogan has expanded his purge of coup supporters in Turkey, with a total dismissal of more than 50,000 workers in the country’s education and government sectors.
According to Turkish media, 15,200 teachers and other education staff have been sacked and 1,577 university deans were ordered to resign, while 8,777 interior ministry workers, 1,500 staff members from the finance ministry and 257 individuals from the prime minister’s office were also fired.
Turkey has also banned all academics from travelling abroad days after a similar ban was imposed on public servants. There are more than three million public servants working in Turkey.
Erdogan has faced wide criticism of conducting a “witch hunt” against his opposition and after the failed coup. On Tuesday, Wikileaks stated their servers were under sustained attack after announcing that they will release unspecified documents pertaining to Turkey’s political structure, the Independent reported.
Turkish president Recep Tayyib Erdogan will hold a meeting Wednesday with national security leaders, the first for Erdogan in Ankara since the coup. Erdogan said the meeting will be followed by an “important decision,” raising expectations to widen the purge, the Washington Post reported.
Concerns over respect of human rights increased in Turkey as Erdogan pointed to the possibility of death penalties against coup plotters and participants. Turkey had abolished the death penalty in 2004 in hopes of locking down its membership in the European Union. The EU’s current foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini warned Erdogan that reinstating capital punishment would automatically block Turkey from ascending to the Union.