Turkey has dismissed almost 7,400 civil servants for alleged links to terror groups in a government decree, the latest in a wave of dismissals since authorities quashed a coup attempt last summer.
Teachers, academics, military and police officers were sacked late on Friday, including former Istanbul governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu who was jailed last August for alleged links to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Turkey blames Gulen for masterminding the July 15 coup attempt but he denies the allegations.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he delivers a speech during a ceremony marking the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt anniversary, in Ankara, Turkey, on Friday
The country imposed a state of emergency following the coup, allowing the government to rule by decrees.
The latest wave of dismissals brings the number of fired civil servants to more than 110,000 people. The order reinstated 313 people to their jobs.
The government decree also stripped nearly 350 soldiers of their ranks and former national soccer team players Hakan Sukur and Arif Erdem of their medals.
Turkey is commemorating the first anniversary of quashing last summer’s coup attempt with events over the weekend in Istanbul and Ankara.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, attends a ceremony marking the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt anniversary, in Ankara, Turkey, on Friday
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, throws flowers onto the grave of a victim of last year’s failed coup attempt, in Istanbul
Thousands are expected at ‘national unity marches’ in the two cities, and speeches are planned in parliament and at an iconic Istanbul bridge.
Turkish soldiers attempted to overthrow the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan using tanks, warplanes and helicopters on July 15 last year.
The coup plotters bombed the country’s parliament and other locations but their attempt failed.
Heeding a call by the president and ignoring a curfew announced by the coup plotters, thousands of people went out on the streets to resist the coup.
Some 250 people were killed and more than 2,000 were injured. Thirty-five coup plotters were also killed.
Recounting the events of July 15, 2016, Ismail Kahraman, speaker of the Turkish parliament, said the Turkish people defeated the coup.
A state of emergency declared in the coup’s aftermath is still in place, allowing the government to rule by decrees.