Over 3,000 judges have been dismissed since the July 15 putsch –
ANKARA: Turkey dismissed 227 more judges and prosecutors on Monday as part of investigations into last July’s failed coup, the state-run Anadolu agency said, meaning close to 4,000 members of the judiciary have now been purged.
Turkish authorities have detained, sacked or dismissed more than 100,000 people from the police, military, public service, judiciary, and elsewhere since the abortive coup over suspected ties to Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating the putsch.
Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, has denied the charge and condemned the coup.
With the latest dismissals, the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) has now dismissed more than 3,886 members of the judiciary since the July 15 putsch, Anadolu said.
Rights groups and some Western allies fear President Tayyip Erdogan is using the coup as a pretext to stifle dissent. The government argues the purges are justified by the extent of the threat to the state on July 15, when rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and fighter jets, killing at least 240 people. Sonmezates, a former brigadier general, was described in the indictment as a leader of the mission, something he denied in court.
“It was for the country, for the nation, to stop the decay domestically, to put an end to the bribery, to protect my country from the PKK,” he told the court, referring to the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
The suspects, who include Erdogan’s former aide-de-camp, were wearing suits when they were brought from prison to the courthouse. They were met by a crowd of some 200 people waving flags and calling for their execution. — Reuters