Numbers behind Turkey’s state of emergency crackdown speak for themselves - BBC
Almost two years after Turkey’s failed military coup, more than 50,000 people have been imprisoned pending trial and more than 107,000 people have been removed from public sector jobs in the country’s ongoing state of emergency rule, writes BBC correspondent Chris Morris.
As Turkey heads to the polls on 24 June for presidential and parliamentary elections, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has used emergency powers to close down many independent media in the last two years, and most television coverage of the election focuses on Turkey’s strongman and his party, Morris says.
While pointing out that there have also been large number of dismissals in the private sector, the article explains that precise numbers are hard to come by.
Many, but not all of those dismissed are alleged to be supporters of the exiled Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, a former ally of Erdogan who Ankara accuses of organising the coup along with his followers.
Among those dismissed by decree since the coup attempt are soldiers and police officers, judges and prosecutors, doctors and teachers, the article explains.
"I've been a teacher for 15 years," Morris quotes one young professional as saying. "My place is in my classroom. I should be able to go back to my school. I should be able to get my job back."
The Turkish government has faced pressure from the Council of Europe, which monitors human rights, and has set up a commission to look at individual cases.
While over 100,000 people have appealed to the commission, the government says it has reviewed 19,600 cases so far, and of those 1,010 people have been granted permission to return to work.
Opposition presidential candidates are very vocal that if elected, they will end the state of emergency which has been extended seven times thus far.
While Erdoğan previously insisted that the state of emergency will remain in place while there is a significant threat of "terrorism" from supporters of Gulen, among others, he has recently changed his tune, suggesting that he too will lift the state of emergency if re-elected.