Turkey said it had dismissed a further 10,000 civil servants and closed 15 more media outlets over suspected links with terrorist organizations and U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for orchestrating a failed coup in July.
More than 100,000 people had already been sacked or suspended and 37,000 arrested since the abortive putsch in an unprecedented crackdown President Tayyip Erdogan says is crucial for wiping out the network of Gulen from the state apparatus.
Thousands more academics, teachers, health workers, prison guards and forensics experts were among the latest to be removed from their posts through two new executive decrees published on the Official Gazette late on Saturday.
|Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan attends a Republic Day ceremony at Anitkabir, . (Photo: Reuters)
Opposition parties described the move as a coup in itself. The continued crackdown has also raised concerns over the functioning of the state.
"What the government and Erdogan are doing right now is a direct coup against the rule of law and democracy," Sezgin Tanrikulu, an MP from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), said in a Periscope broadcast posted on Twitter.
A Turkish court on Sunday formally arrested Gultan Kisanak and Firat Anli, co-mayors of the largely Kurdish southeastern city of Diyarbakir on charges of membership of a terrorist organization after five days in detention, sources said.
Earlier police used rubber pellets to break up several hundred protesters marching against their arrests. The internet has been largely down in the city for several days, witnesses said.
Turkey's southeast has been rocked by the worst violence in decades since the collapse last year of a ceasefire between the state and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
The local prosecutor had said Kisanak, a lawmaker before becoming Diyarbakir's first female mayor in 2014, and Anli had given speeches sympathetic to the PKK, called for greater political autonomy for Turkey's estimated 16 million Kurds and incited violent protests in 2014.Reuters