On the eve of the anniversary of last year’s military coup attempt, Turkey dismissed more than 7,000 police, civil servants and academics as part of a purge triggered by the failed putsch.
The crackdown on state institutions, including the judiciary, police and education, began after last year’s unrest, which Turkey claims was masterminded US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “They are asking how many people have been dismissed from work, how their needs will be met from now on. Let them work in private sector. Why should we care? Will we think about them? Let them work in private sector. Will the state look after them? The state looked after them and they betrayed the state.”
In all, Turkey has sacked or suspended more than 150,000 officials, and arrested some 50,000 people from across the public sector.
On Saturday, the country marks one year since rogue soldiers bombed government buildings and opened fire on civilians.