Turkish Labor Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu announced on Tuesday that more than 135,000 people have been purged from state bodies due to their alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement since a failed coup attempt on July 15.
Speaking to news channel CNNTürk, Müezzinoğlu provided the latest tally of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) purge of civil servants. According to the official numbers, a total of 135,356 people have been removed from public sector jobs since July 15.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
Despite Gülen and the movement having denied the accusation, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
Turkey’s unprecedented witch-hunt had resulted in the imprisonment of 41,752 people as of Dec. 30, according to the tally of turkeypurge.com
Over 6,000 academics were dismissed and nearly 4,000 judges and prosecutors were purged by means of decrees and without due process.