Turkey suspends 1,218 military police officers over alleged coup links

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Story highlights

  • Crackdown following July's failed coup attempt continuing
  • Thousands of public servants, teachers and police officers have been sacked

(CNN)Hundreds of military police officers have been suspended in Turkey over alleged links to July's attempted coup.

According to state-run news agency Anadolu, 1,218 personnel from the Gendarmerie have been removed from their positions for alleged ties to FETO, the movement aligned with US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey blames for the failed coup.
    It is estimated more than 100,000 government employees have been suspended or dismissed in the last four months.

    Crackdown

    An intense crackdown on government critics and those with alleged ties to either Gulen or Kurdish groups has seen thousands of teachers suspended, public servants sacked, and journalists detained and media organizations shut down.
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    This week, 13 journalists were detained in a raid on the Istanbul offices of newspaper Cumhuriyet.
    According to Anadolu, Turkish police also searched the houses of two other journalists.
    Istanbul's chief prosecutor has said the journalists detained Monday weren't just accused of "being members of FETO and PKK terrorist organizations but committing crimes in the name of those terror organizations."
    A new legislative decree issued last week made it easier to sack public officials believed to be members of terrorist organizations or groups involved in activities against the country's national security or those in contact with terrorist organizations or groups.
    The decree also grants President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the power to appoint the heads of all the country's universities, many of which had previously been elected.