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Turkey dismisses 1,000 police officers due to alleged ties to terrorist organizations

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Turkey’s Security Directorate General has dismissed from service or canceled the retirement benefits of 1,000 current or retired police officers based on a government decree that will expire soon due to their alleged links to terrorist organizations, Turkish media outlets reported.

The action against the police officers was based on the temporary 35th article of government decree number 375, which was issued during two-year-long state of emergency declared in the aftermath of a failed coup in the country in July 2016.

The 35th article of the relevant government decree will expire on July 31.

Most of the police officers were serving in İstanbul and Ankara. Retired police officers and police officers who are currently in prison are among those affected.

Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government declared a state of emergency in the aftermath of the failed coup in the country on July 15, 2016, which remained in effect until July 19, 2018.

During the state of emergency, the AKP issued a number of government decrees, known as KHKs, through which around 130,000 public servants including academics, teachers, doctors, police officers, judges and prosecutors have been purged due to their real or alleged connections to terrorist organizations.

The AKP government accused the faith-based Gülen movement of being behind the failed coup. The movement strongly denies any involvement.

The AKP government is accused of dismissing experienced and competent police officers and filling the police force with its cronies. The force saw a major overhaul after corruption investigations of late 2013 in which Erdoğan’s close circle was implicated.

The police officers who took part in the investigations were first replaced and then arrested on charges of staging a coup against the government. They have been behind bars since July 2014.

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