More than 7,000 police officers, civil servants, and academics in Turkey have been dismissed from their jobs according to a new executive decree published on the government’s Official Gazette website. The decree was reportedly authorized on June 5, but did not become public until Friday. The announcement comes a day before the one-year anniversary of a failed coup against the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In the wake of the coup, around 150,000 officials have been dismissed from their posts and more than 50,000 people have been jailed. Recent arrests have targeted police, military personnel, court officials, teachers, and journalists.
Friday’s decree represents the latest purge of state institutions—an act Erdogan claims is necessary to control security threats and prevent another insurgence. Meanwhile, many members of the international community argue that the dismissals and arrests are a way for Erdogan to silence political dissidents. In total, 7,563 people were dismissed on Friday, including 2,303 police officers and 302 university academics. Another 342 retired army personnel were also stripped of their ranks, the state-owned Anadolu news agency reported. According to the decree, the employees either acted “against the security of the state” or were deemed “members of a terrorist organization.”