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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Turkey suspends 2k education staff over coup plot

Iran Press TV

Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:1PM

Turkey has sacked nearly 2,000 education employees over their alleged links to the coup attempt of July 15.

An official from the Turkish Ministry of Education said 1,980 teachers and school employees had been placed under suspension pending investigation. There was no further information available.

Ankara has been engaged in a crackdown on people it accuses of having connections to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. The government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses Gulen of having masterminded the coup. The Pennsylvania-based cleric denies the allegation.

President Erdogan on Wednesday said the off-duty police officer who gunned down Russia's ambassador to Turkey on December 19 had connections with Gulen. The cleric, who has denounced the assassination, denies any involvement.

The post-coup crackdown has seen some 36,000 people jailed pending trial and more than 100,000 sacked or suspended in the civil service, army, judiciary and other institutions.

The campaign has raised criticism among those accusing the government of using the failed putsch as a pretext to suppress dissent.

On December 15, Human Rights Watch accused the Turkish government of silencing independent media in an attempt to block scrutiny or criticism of Ankara's large-scale crackdown.

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