First Published: 2018-01-12

Turkey trying to fix post-coup purges
Turkish authorities reinstate over 1,800 civil servants after finding they had no links to group blamed for the 2016 failed coup.
Middle East Online

Over 50,000 people have been arrested, including many with suspected links to Gulen because they had allegedly downloaded ByLock

ANKARA - Turkish authorities on Friday reinstated more than 1,800 civil servants in an emergency decree after finding they had no links to a group blamed for the 2016 failed coup.

The public sector employees were sacked after being accused of downloading an encrypted messaging app known as ByLock, which the authorities say was used by the movement of US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen who is blamed for the attempted putsch.

But late last year, the authorities said that the app had been unknowingly downloaded by thousands of people.

Gulen denies Turkey's accusations and insists his movement is a peaceful group.

A total of 1,823 civil servants will return to work, including 544 personnel from the education ministry and 204 health ministry staff.

The decree also said 458 personnel from the police force could return to their jobs.

Following the failed overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey imposed a state of emergency which has been renewed five times and is likely to be extended again this month.

Using emergency decrees, more than 140,000 public workers have been sacked or suspended including teachers, judges, police officers and academics since July 2016.

Over 50,000 people have been arrested, including many with suspected links to Gulen because they had allegedly downloaded ByLock.

Last month the Ankara chief prosecutor said that 11,480 people were directed to the ByLock app without realising or giving permission.

But in Friday's decree, 262 people including 48 military personnel were sacked, state-run news agency Anadolu said, while two organisations were shut down.

The employees will have to return to work within 10 days and will receive their wages for the period they were not working but cannot apply for compensation.

 

Kurdish militia fire rockets at Turkish town

Sudan clamps down on journalists covering bread protests

Egypt's Sisi says will stand for re-election

Pence heads to Mideast despite Muslim, Christian anger

US to overtake Saudi as world’s second crude oil producer

Moroccans wary depreciation of dirham could raise cost of living, despite benefits

Deserted streets, terrified civilians after Turkey attacks Afrin

Iraqi, Kurdish leaders hold talks on bitter regional dispute

Russia-led Syria peace congress to be held January 30

Turkey launches new strikes on Kurdish targets in Syria

Assad regime says Syria a 'tourist' destination

Journalists arrested while reporting Sudan protests

Aid for millions of Palestinians hostage to politics

Lebanon thwarts holiday attacks using IS informant

Mortar fire wounds 14 in Syria mental hospital

Turkish military fires on Kurdish forces in Syria's Afrin

More than 32,000 Yemenis displaced in intensified fighting

UN warns of "lost generation" in South Sudan's grinding conflict

Saudi's refined oil exports offset crude curbs

Turkey's EU minister rejects any option other than full membership

Tribal feuds spread fear in Iraq's Basra

Turkey says not reassured by US comments on border force

UN chief wants to revive Syria gas attack probe

US has no intention to build border force in Syria

Lebanese intelligence service may be spying using smartphones worldwide

Egypt's Sisi sacks intelligence chief

Trump dashes Netanyahu’s hope to move US embassy to Jerusalem

Cyprus denies bail for Israeli organ trafficker

Rising Yemen currency sparks hopes of relief

Turkish ministries to investigate underage pregnancy cover-up

Iraq PM launches online appeal for election allies

Iran central bank sees claim for billions from German stock market blocked

Iraq signs deal with BP to develop Kirkuk oil fields

Israeli occupation forces raid Jenin, kill Palestinian

HRW chief says 'Nobody should be forcibly returned to Libya'

IS poses threat to Iraq one month after 'liberation'

Seven years since ousting dictator, Tunisians still protest

Iran says Trump jeopardising Airbus deals

China says Iranian oil tanker wreck located

Sudan arrests communist leader after protests

Syrian opposition joins condemnation of US 'border force'

Israeli judge detains teen until trial for viral ‘slap video’

Arab league slams US freeze of Palestinian funding

Dubai billionaire to sell 15 percent Damac stake

Britain to put women at heart of peace work in Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan