Turkey Dismisses Over 18,000 Civil Servants Ahead of Lifting Country's State of Emergency

Turkish president Erdogan ordered the removal of civil servants who posed a 'threat to national security'; more than half are policemen, some 5,000 serve in the armed forces and others are academics

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends a special session in Turkey's Parliament to mark the anniversary of the July 15, 2016 botched coup attempt, in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, July 15, 2017Credit: Ali Unal/AP

Turkey issued a decree on Sunday dismissing more than 18,000 civil servants, half of which were from the police force, ahead of this month's expected lifting of a two-year-old state of emergency imposed after an attempted coup in July 2016. 

The decree follows President Tayyip Erdogan's victory in last month's presidential election and comes before he swears his oath on Monday, inaugurating a powerful executive presidency. 

The decree dismissed 199 academics from universities across the country, as well as more than 5,000 personnel from the armed forces. 

Turkish authorities had already dismissed around 160,000 civil servants since the failed military intervention, the UN human rights office said in March. 

Among those detained, more than 50,000 have been formally charged and kept in jail during their trials. 

Turkey's Western allies have criticized the crackdown. Critics of President Tayyip Erdogan accuse him of using the failed putsch as a pretext to quash dissent. Turkey says the measures are necessary to combat threats to national security.

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