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Erdogan fires 928 public workers, tightened grip over MIT, clamps down on media

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The Turkish government fires over 900 officials with the public sector amid the ongoing post-coup desk. (File photo)

The Turkish government has fired over 900 officials with the public sector and boosted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers over the country’s national intelligence agency.

In a decree issued Friday, a total of 928 of people were dismissed, among them academic staff, servants working in the defense, foreign and interior ministries as well as military personnel.

Under a separate decree, Erdogan’s permission will be required for the head of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) to be investigated or to act as a witness.

Erdogan will also chair the national intelligence coordination board, while the Ankara chief prosecutor’s office will have the authority to investigate members of parliament for alleged crimes committed before or after an election.

According to one of the decrees the pro-Kurdish news agency Dihaber and two newspapers, all based in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, will be shut down.

The decrees will also allow the Turkish government to recruit 32,000 new police, along with 4,000 judges and prosecutors -- a move seen by critics as a measure to reshape the Turkish police force and judiciary in favor of Erdogan.  

The decrees are the latest outcome of the emergency rule imposed in Turkey after last year’s botched military coup.

Turkish plainclothes police officials detain a protester during a demonstration in Ankara on July 14, 2017, in support an academic and teacher who have been on hunger strike for over four months after being sacked in the wake of Turkey's failed coup. (AFP Photo) 

Turkey witnessed the coup attempt on July 15, 2016, when a faction of the Turkish military declared that the Erdogan government was no more in charge of the country.

However, over the course of some two days, the putsch was suppressed. Almost 250 people were killed and nearly 2,200 others wounded in the abortive coup.

Ankara blamed the US-based opposition cleric, Fetullah Gulen, for the coup.

In the aftermath of the failed putsch, Turkey launched a heavy-handed crackdown on those with alleged links to Gulen. Over 140,000 people have been sacked or suspended from their jobs in the post-coup purge.

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