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The government’s “clean-up” started with the imprisonment of military personnel and the suspension of 6,000 members of the police force. Added to these are 13,000 members of the Ministries of Justice, Interior and Finance, and more recently another 15,000 members of the Ministry of Education. In addition, more recent reports indicate that 21,000 teachers working in private institutions have had their licence revoked, and that 1,577 university deans have been ordered to resign, all due to alleged links with the coup leaders.
While recognising the government’s right to investigate these incidents and bring to justice those responsible, PSI expresses its concern and condemns the speed at which it has taken these measures, which rather makes one suspect a purge orchestrated to silence all signs of dissent in the country.
PSI General Secretary, Rosa Pavanelli, refers to these facts, pointing out that:
“The Turkish government must respect the rule of law and ensure it has all the evidence before taking any action that could violate the civil rights of its citizens. We ask for restraint and that the government does not use the coup as an excuse to silence critical voices. Therefore, we urge the government to lift the suspension and removal of these officials and that they be reinstated in their positions in the absence of evidence against them.”
PSI, together with its affiliates, will continue to monitor closely the situation in Turkey and defend the rights of public sector workers in the country.