18,632 lay-offs in the Turkish public sector

18,632 lay-offs in the Turkish public sector

Turkey's government on Sunday issued an emergency decree dismissing thousands of public servants for alleged links to terror groups.

With the declaration of new cabinet, the state of emergency that expires on July 19 should automatically be lifted, according to outgoing Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

Sunday's decree also reinstated 148 people previously sacked through emergency decrees.

The decree is expected to be the last of a series of emergency laws as Turkey's ruling system will fully transform into an executive presidency Monday, when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is sworn in once again following his victory in last month's elections.

No organizations were named in the emergency decree, but government authorities have targeted supporters of Fetullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric residing in the United States who is accused of fomenting the coup, as well as sympathizers of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

Turkey blames exiled preacher and businessmen Fethullah Gulen for the attempted power grab and cracked down decisively, implementing a state of emergency and using enhanced powers to sack scores of civil servants.

Human rights defenders including Amnesty International have lambasted the purges as arbitrary but Turkey says they are necessary to remove the Gulen movement's infiltration of state bodies.

Some 3,077 army soldiers were also dismissed as well as 1,949 air force personnel and 1,126 from the naval forces.

While majority were detained for a long period of time, nearly half of them were charged for having alleged links to exiled Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom the government accused of being the architect behind the coup.

Tens of thousands of others have been fired or suspended in the huge purge. At least three newspapers, a television channel and several associations also shut down.