Minister: 33,000 teachers dismissed over Gülen links since July 15

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Turkey's National Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz / Okan Ozer / Anadolu Agency

Turkish Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz said the government has dismissed about 33,000 teachers from their jobs since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, Habertürk reported on Friday.

“Never has such an era been witnessed in the history of the republic. As a necessity and as result of it, about 33,000 teachers have been dismissed,” said Yılmaz during a fast-breaking [iftar] dinner in Ankara on Thursday night.

Noting that 14,000 other teachers have also been investigated on charges of involvement in illegal activities, Yılmaz said, “We have taken all these actions with fairness.”

Yılmaz also underlined that 20,000 new teachers have been appointed over the past year and that the appointment of 20,000 others was under way.

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 Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip 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.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15.

According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt.

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