Erdoğan replaces 33 police chiefs in law enforcement reshuffle

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip has replaced police chiefs in 33 out of Turkey’s 81 provinces in a major reshuffle of the police force, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Police chiefs in 10 of the provinces were recalled to Ankara.

A presidential decree on the new appointments was published in Turkey’s Official Gazette on Wednesday.

Erdoğan also appointed senior police personnel to serve as counselors responsible for security at 27 Turkish diplomatic missions around the world, including Washington, D.C., Beijing, London, Paris and Athens.

Following a failed coup in July 2016, more than 30,000 people were sacked from their jobs at Turkey’s National Police Department on the grounds that they had alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.

Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, inspired by Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, his family members, and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following the abortive putsch on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

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