Government to employ 2,500 new police officers

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R) addresses the police officers to congratulate them during the ceremony as part of the 172nd anniversary of foundation of Turkish Police Department, at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on April 10, 2017.

After purging more than 40,000 members of the police force from their jobs since a failed coup in Turkey in July, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government will employ 2,500 new police officers, the pro-Edoğan Sabah daily reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, 250 of the 2,500 police officers will be women.

Last week, as part of a witch-hunt launched against the Gülen movement following the coup attempt on July 15, the Turkish government suspended 9,103 police officers and issued detention warrants for 4,900 members of the police force.

The AKP government and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Edoğan accuse the faith-based Gülen movement of masterminding the putsch, an accusation strongly denied by the movement.

On Sunday the pro-government Yeni Şafak daily claimed that a new detention operation is underway targeting 13,000 police officers and civilians allegedly linked to the Gülen movement.

According to a statement from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on April 2, 10,732 police officers have been jailed since July 15.

On March 30, speaking at the graduation ceremony of police officers who were recruited for training after July 15, Minister Soylu said they would hire 10,000 new police special forces members.

Some 10,000 people were accepted by the police academy last fall for training to become special forces members and subsequent employment without first checking the results of the centralized State Personnel Examination (KPSS).

The government has been criticized for using the failed coup attempt as an excuse to turn the police force into “party police” by dismissing thousands of police officers and employing others close to the party.

Last week, with a new state of emergency decree, known as a KHK, the Turkish government created a new neighborhood guard system that in the first phase will employ 7,000 people.

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