The government of Turkey has expelled 18,632 government employees, including members of the educational sector and members of the military. They also closed down several news outlets during directives covering the nations state of emergency over the weekend. The terminations were allegedly linked to the banned Hizmet Movement; an organization the Turkish government claims was responsible for the attempted military coup that occurred in July of 2016 led by U.S. preacher Fethullah Gulen.
Directive 701 was the supposed “final KHK,” an acronym describing executive orders given by the Turkish presidency during the continuing national state of emergency. The decree was the final instruction issued by the nation which ordered the dismissal of around 3,000 soldiers, 1,100 sailors, 2,000 airmen, and 9,000 police officers. In conjunction to this, parliament gathered over the weekend to swear in 600 new ministers of parliament under the newly elected Turkish administration; headed by the re-elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
President Erdogan will undergo swearing in this week and disclose his newly selected cabinet members. According to Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, the state of emergency will end after this happens, it was scheduled to be lifted on July 19th regardless though. Despite this, President Erdogan announced during his electoral campaign that the state of emergency would continue should he deem it necessary; particularly should the nation encounter further “terror threats.”
It has not been made apparent if the ending of the national state of emergency implies that the nations state of affairs would return to the way they were before the attempted coup or not though. Many fear that it means a new system will replace it, one that will allow President Erdogan to issue decrees like the KHK through the use of executive power. Since the coup, the state of emergency was extended seven different times. During that time, 151,967 teachers, politicians, state officials, and government personnel were removed from their positions of employment. Almost 80,000 Turkish citizens were arrested, around 3,000 educational institutions have been closed, 319 journalists have been arrested, 189 media outlets were shut down, and nearly 5,500 working within the judiciary have been fired.
Featured image: Grand National Assembly of Turkey MPs. | By Yıldız Yazıcıoğlu [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons