Thousands more officials sacked in Turkey after failed coup

Some 50,000 people have been removed from their jobs since last week

Turkey, failed coup, sacked, officials, army, police, judiciary, Tayyip Erdogan, Fethullah Gulen

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim addresses lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara | Image: AP/Press Association Images

Turkey has extended its purge of the army, police and judiciary to the intelligence agency, universities and schools and religious authorities.

The move comes after last Friday's failed coup, which the country's government blames on US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

On Tuesday, authorities shut down media outlets deemed to be supportive of him and said 15,000 people had been fired from the education ministry.

A further 492 were sacked from the Religious Affairs Directorate and 257 from the prime minister's office.

Over 100 intelligence officials were also axed, taking the number removed from their jobs since last week to around 50,000.

"This parallel terrorist organisation will no longer be an effective pawn for any country," Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told parliament.

He was referring to what the government has long claimed is a state within a state controlled by followers of Gulen.

A spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan said the government was preparing a formal request to the United States for his extradition.

Gulen (75), who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, has condemned the attempted coup and denied any role in it.

A former ally-turned critic of Mr Erdogan, he suggested the president staged it as an excuse for a crackdown on his opponents.

"More than enough evidence"

Turkey's Western allies have expressed solidarity with the government, but also alarm at the scale and swiftness of its response.

Prime Minister Yildirim accused Washington, which has said it will consider Gulen's extradition only if clear evidence is provided, of double standards in its fight against terrorism.

Mr Yildirim said the justice ministry had sent a dossier to US authorities on Gulen, who has a network of supporters within Turkey.

"We have more than enough evidence, more than you could ask for, on Gulen," Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told reporters.

"There is no need to prove the coup attempt, all evidence shows (it) was organised on his will and orders."

White House spokesman Josh Earnest confirmed Ankara had filed materials in electronic form, which officials were reviewing.

Any extradition request from Turkey - once submitted - would be evaluated under the terms of a treaty between the two countries, he added.

Over 290 people were killed and around 1,400 wounded as soldiers commandeered tanks, attack helicopters and warplanes, and tried to seize the main airport and bridges in Istanbul.

Mr Erdogan and other officials have suggested bringing back the death penalty as a punishment, but EU officials have warned it would end Turkey's hopes of joining the union.

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