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New decree creates positions for 7,000 neighborhood guards

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With a new state of emergency decree, known as a KHK, the Turkish government has created a new neighborhood guard system that in the first phase will employ 7,000 people, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Saturday.

Neighborhood guards will work under rural branches of the police, according the 690th KHK, Anadolu said.

The government also issued the 689th KHK on Saturday, dismissing 3,974 people including 484 academics from state institutions while banning matchmaking programs on TV.

According to the report 1,037, including a general from the Turkish military, 1,127 from the Justice Ministry, 216 from the Ministry of Health, 56 from the Gendarmerie, 120 from the Coast Guard and 201 from the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) were dismissed, the highest figures in the new KHKs.

The government also shut down two more media outlets, in addition to the close to 200 that have already been forced to cease operations by government decrees.

Eighteen foundations and 13 health associations were shuttered by the decree. Fourteen associations were also closed, while five were allowed to reopen.

Similarly, 236 people who were previously dismissed were allowed return to their posts.

Over 130,000 people from state institutions have been purged 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 AKP government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on April 2 that a total of 113,260 people have been detained, 47,155 people including 10,732 police officers, 7,631 military officers, 2,575 judges and prosecutors and 208 local administrative officials were arrested as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since the putsch.

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