07/20/2016, 17.09
TURKEY
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Erdogan purges target military, academics, teachers

At least 99 generals and admirals, 1577 university deans, 21 thousand teachers, 15 thousand employees of the Ministry of Education have been questioned, arrested, forced to resign. All are suspected of being close to Fethullah Guelen, accused of being the mastermind of the plot.

Ankara (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Tens of thousands of people suspected of being behind or involved in the failed attempt of coup d'etat have been accused, interrogated, fired or arrested. All are suspected of having links with the imam Fethullah Guelen (pictured left), an exile in the United States from whom President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (pictured right) has demanded his extradition.

At least 99 generals and admirals are accused of plotting to overthrow the regime. So far, 1577 deans of universities have been forced to resign, along with 21 thousand teachers and 15 thousand employees of the Ministry of Education.

President Erdogan has in the meantime called an emergency meeting with the armed forces loyal to him and his cabinet to design new purges.

In an effort to eradicate all the supporters Guelen from academia, the Tertiary Education Council asked the rectors of the universities to "urgently examine the situation of all the academic and administrative staff" tied to what is termed "fetus" ( Fethullah Terrorist Organisation).

The Council also calls on all teachers who are abroad to return immediately to their homeland. At the same time, a ban on travel abroad for university staff  has been imposed to prevent  "conspirators" from  fleeing to other countries.

Erdogan accuses Fethullah Guelen of being the instigator of the attempted coup, but he denies it, in turn accusing the Turkish president of using every means at his disposal to expand his grip power.

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