Turkey suspends 12,800 police officers in latest post-coup crackdown

Turkey suspended 12,801 police officers for their alleged links to Fethullah Gulen, the US-based Islamic cleric accused of plotting a failed coup in July, the National Police service announced Tuesday.

The suspensions are the latest in a wave of crackdowns in the country since the failed bloody coup on July 15. More than 100,000 civil servants have been suspended, meaning they have been removed from their posts but receive partial salaries pending an investigation.

Some 50,000 of those suspended have been fired.

The civil servants come from a variety of ministries and include judges, prosecutors, teachers and police.

Some 32,000 people, including journalists, have also been arrested since the coup.

The majority of those suspended are accused of having links to Gulen, a Turkish-born preacher and former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999.

More than 11,000 teachers are accused of having links to the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The measures fall under the state of emergency that Turkey declared days after the putsch attempt. The cabinet this week decided to extend the emergency laws for an additional three months into the beginning of 2017.

The state of emergency could be required for a year, Erdogan has said, to quell existing threats to his government.

Erdogan, elected president in 2014, has been accused of growing increasingly authoritarian and has sought to change the constitution to empower his office.

Last update: Tue, 04/10/2016 - 11:42

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