In another wave of mass dismissals, Turkey’s highest judicial regulatory body sacked 227 judges and prosecutors on February 20 over their alleged links to U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of masterminding the coup attempt last summer.
3,886 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed so far since 2016 July, media portal Hurriyet reports, adding that 200 will be reinstated, while many others still remain under investigation.
Earlier in February, the Turkish authorities dismissed almost 4,500 civil servants, most of them employees of the education sector.
- Over 100,000 public workers, including police officers, teachers, soldiers and others, had already been fired and more than 40,000 arrested in the government’s post-coup purges.
- Fethullah Gulen, a writer, former imam and preacher, lives in self-imposed exile in the U.S. He has founded a whole network of schools and universities scattered across the world. In 2008, he was voted the world’s top public intellectual in a global poll conducted by the international titles Prospect and Foreign Policy.
- Gulen has been known to oppose religious fundamentalism and politicization of Islam. He follows the traditional Turkish Islam which he views as a religion of compassion and social support, and is a strong proponent of interfaith dialogue.
- In 2014, a court in Turkey found Gulen guilty of involvement in preparations for a coup and issued an arrest warrant for him.
- In March of 2016, president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused Gulen of having masterminded protests in Turkey’s Kurdish-populated south-east. In July, Gulen was accused of being behind the summer’s failed coup attempt.
Read more detail on Fethullah Gulen and his movement in a JAMnews report here