Turkish authorities have dismissed more than ۱۰,۰۰۰ civil servants over their suspected links with U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for orchestrating the failed coup in July.
Thousands of academics, teachers and health workers were among those removed through a new emergency rule decree published on the Official Gazette late on Saturday while ۱۵ media outlets, almost all of which reported from the largely Kurdish southeast, were shut down.
Through the decrees, elections to choose a rector at the universities have also been abolished. President Tayyip Erdogan will directly appoint the rectors from the candidates nominated by the High Educational Board (YOK).
Turkey has formally arrested more than ۳۷,۰۰۰ people and has already sacked or suspended ۱۰۰,۰۰۰ civil servants, judges, prosecutors, police and others in an unprecedented crackdown the government says is necessary to root out all supporters of Gulen from the state apparatus and key positions.
A state of emergency imposed right after the bloody failed coup in July has been extended for another three months until January after Erdogan said the authorities needed more time to eradicate the threat posed by Gulen's network as well as Kurdish militants who have waged a ۳۲-year insurgency.
The total number of media outlets shut down since the start of the state of emergency has now exceeded ۱۶۰.
The extent of the crackdown has worried rights groups and some Western allies, who fear Erdogan is using it to curtail dissent. The government says the actions are justified by the threat to the state on July ۱۵, when more than ۲۴۰ people died.