Turkey suspends 15200 education staff after failed coup

Erdogan opened the National Security Council meeting shortly after returning to the capital Ankara for the first time since the Friday night insurrection.

Both the rule of law and freedom of expression are now at risk, warns Kristin Hausler, Dorset senior research fellow at the British Institute of global and Comparative Law. "On the contrary it aims to protect and strengthen them".

Under a state of emergency in Turkey, the president can largely rule by decree. The emergency rule was gradually lifted by 2002. The attempt was prevented by military troops loyal to the government, along with police units and millions of Turkish citizens in favor of democracy.

Erdogan says the pro-government death toll in the botched coup was 246.

Amnesty International said on Wednesday that authorities had blocked access to more than 20 news websites, cancelled press cards for 34 journalists, and issued an arrest warrant for one for her coverage of the coup.

Around 50,000 soldiers, police, judges, civil servants and teachers have been suspended or detained since the coup attempt, stirring tensions across the country of 80 million which borders Syria's chaos and is a Western ally against Islamic State.

The ban comes only a day after Turkish officials reportedly sacked more than 15,000 education workers and asked almost 1,500 university deans to resign.

"We need unity ... and brotherhood now", he said.

More than 6,000 people, around half of them military personnel, have been arrested following the coup attempt, which is said to have been organized by followers of US -based Fetullah Gulen. The cleric's movement, which espouses moderation and multi-faith harmony, says it is a scapegoat for what it describes as the president's increasingly autocratic conduct. Erdogan has been seeking to consolidate power in the presidency since he was elevated to that office two years ago, and has indicated he believes the attempted coup vindicates his policies. Dozens of others were still being questioned.

"We have sent four dossiers to the United States for the extradition of the terrorist chief", Turkish Prime Minister Birnili Yildirim said during the ruling Justice and Development Party meeting at the parliament in Ankara, Anadolu Agency reported.

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According to Andalou, Ozturk blamed the coup on Gulen and his followers, though he claimed he did not know who in the military was responsible for planning it. Gulen has denied any involvement, and has demanded that Erdogan's government provide evidence.

Turkey on Tuesday formally requested the extradition of Gulen from the United States, where he lives in self-imposed exile.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that if an extradition request for Gulen was made, the US would agree to it only if there was compelling proof of wrongdoing by the cleric.

It has raised deep concerns about the stability of the strategic North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partner, which has a key air base used in the US-led fight against the Islamic State group that has a large nuclear weapons stockpile.

Turkey's domestic situation is increasingly a concern as the government seeks to rid broad sectors of society of alleged antagonists.

Mr. Ulgen said the coup plotters may have been driven to act by a sense that a purge was coming anyway.

"I condemn and reject in the strongest terms the attempted coup", Gulen, 77, said in an interview Monday with USA TODAY and several other reporters.

Erdogan also said he would approve a parliamentary measure to reinstate the death penalty even if it would jeopardize Turkey's bid to join the European Union.

"I am not talking about the private soldiers".

Thousands of officials suspected of links to him were purged from the judiciary and the Interior Ministry.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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