“Turkish authorities have expanded a crackdown”

Turkish authorities have expanded a crackdown on military officials to include police, judges, governors and millions of civil servants in a massive purge of opponents following a failed coup attempt. The Interior Ministry’s move on Monday to suspend nearly 9,000 employees raised the number of bureaucrats fired or detained to nearly 20,000. Also Monday, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim suspended annual leave for more than 3 million civil servants. More than 7,500 people have been detained. A mutinous faction of Turkey’s military staged the attempted overthrow Friday night, hijacking fighter jets and helicopters to strike key installations and security forces. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his supporters now say that they face an unprecedented threat and that the campaign to root out traitors is necessary to restore the rule of law. But the sheer scale of the purge in the days since the thwarted coup has alarmed Turkey’s allies in the West and raised fears that the NATO member is on a slide toward ever more authoritarian rule”.

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