Turkey Police Suspends 9,000 Officers

Turkey removed from duty 9,103 police officers over alleged links to a a U.S.-based cleric, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported, citing the use of a decree issued under the ongoing state of emergency.

The move late on Wednesday followed the detention earlier in the day of 1,009 “secret imams” within the police force who all were suspected of links to Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish Islamic leader living in the United States.

The government blames him for last year’s coup attempt, charges he denies.

The government said no fewer than 47,000 people are under arrest for links to Gulen.

Authorities also said that no fewer than 100,000 have been removed from the civil service and security forces, either fired or suspended.

Purges began back in late 2013, at first focused on police and the judiciary, after corruption probes were opened against top government officials.

The government blamed Gulen.

Turkey is under a state of emergency, enacted after the failed coup, which grants the authorities sweeping powers.

President Recep Erdogan, who was once allied with Gulen, declared victory in a referendum granting his office a wide range of powers. (dpa/NAN)

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