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Turkey Dismisses 15,000 More People In Postcoup Crackdown

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that that the civil service has still not been entirely purged of followers Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based cleric who Ankara says was behind a failed coup in July (file photo).

Turkey has dismissed a further 15,000 people from the military, police, and the civil service as part of an ongoing crackdown over the July failed coup attempt.

The government has also shut down some 375 associations, including leading rights groups.

"The closure of nearly 400 NGOs is part of an ongoing and systematic attempt by the Turkish authorities to permanently silence all critical voices," Amnesty International's Europe Director, John Dalhuisen, said.

Amnesty said the groups closed included associations working on torture prevention, women's rights groups working against domestic violence, and local NGOs helping refugees.

Tens of thousands of people have been dismissed or suspended from government jobs since July's failed coup, while more than 32,000 people have been arrested in connection with the coup bid.

The Turkish government accuses U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen of masterminding the coup.

Gulen denies any involvement in the plot.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on November 22 that the civil service was still not entirely purged of Gulen's followers while vowing to take necessary measures to eradicate the group.

"We won't allow them to destroy this country nor to crush the people. We will do whatever is necessary," Erdogan said.

Based on reporting by AP, DPA and AFP