More than 12,000 Turkish policemen were suspended Tuesday for alleged ties to U.S. based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, the accused leader of July’s failed coup attempt.
More than 2,500 police chiefs were among the 12,801 police suspended in connection with the failed coup attempt, Turkish authorities said in a statement.
The suspensions come just a day after Turkey’s government announced it would extend a state of emergency for another three months. The state of emergency was enacted shortly after the coup attempt and has allowed the Turkish government to engage in a massive crackdown on government employees.
Since the coup attempt, around 100,000 military, police, judiciary and education employees have been fired. Around 30,000 have been arrested for alleged links to the coup.
Thousands of judges have been detained under emergency rule, including two members of the Constitutional Court.
Gulen, according to experts, has hundreds of thousands of supporters in Turkey, who have built a wide network of businesses and private schools and supporters across the country.
The government has said it is determined to break up this network, which it accuses of not only supporting the coup attempt, but running a parallel state that favors its supporters and crushes opponents.
Gulen, who lives in the United State, denies all the allegations.
Erdogan has promised to continue his crackdown on dissenters and has suggested unprecedented dangers posed against Turkey could lead to the state of emergency extending beyond next year.