Turkish gov’t to employ 25,000 new police officers

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivers a speech during military, police ceremony at Dolmabahce Palace overseeing provision of motorcycles, in Istanbul, Turkey on August 25, 2017. Kayhan Ozer / Anadolu Agency

The Turkish government will hire 25,000 new police officers following a mass purge in police ranks after a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, CNNTürk reported on Saturday.

According to the report, the Police Vocational Education Centers will provide 20,000 new cadres, while Police Commander Education Centers will take 3,000 applicants and for Police Vocational High Schools, the number is 2,000.

Government has employed a total of 82,000 police since May 2014.

Director General of Public Security Selami Altınok on Dec. 12, 2017 said 22,987 police officers in Turkey have been dismissed over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement since the failed coup attempt.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling AKP government pursued a crackdown on the Gülen movement following corruption operations in December 2013 in which the inner circle of the government and then-Prime Minister Erdoğan were implicated.

The crackdown on the movement intensified with the failed coup attempt.

Despite the movement strongly denying involvement in the failed coup, Erdoğan launched a witch-hunt targeting the movement following the putsch.

The ruling AKP government dismissed 24,977 military members including 150 generals, 4,630 officers, 2,167 noncommissioned officers, 1,210 specialized sergeants, 411 civil servants and workers, and 16,409 cadets following the failed coup over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli on April 18 said the government has identified 3,000 active duty military officers suspected of links to the Gülen movement and that they would be dismissed with a government decree in the coming days.

“If it was a coup perpetrated by the Gülen movement and 25,000 military personnel and 22,987 police officers were dismissed for their connections to the movement, why did only 8,651 military members including cadets and privates participate in the coup?” is a question being asked by critics.

The government has been at the center of criticism for turning the Turkish army and police into political Islamist security forces in line with the wishes of President Erdoğan.

Last week, the National Police Department established a special operations unit to serve at Erdoğan’s lavish presidential palace in Ankara.

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