PHOTO: Interior Minister Efkan Ala — Another coup in 5 to 10 years “if system not completely changed”
Turkey’s Interior Minister Efkan Ala has confirmed that more than 76,000 State personnel have been suspended since the July 15 failed coup attempt.
Ala said in a televised interview on Wednesday: “As of now, the number of suspended personnel is nearly 76,100. There are 5,171 people who were detained and their process of detention is ongoing.” He added another 3,601 were questioned and released and 7,173 freed on condition of judicial control.
Of the detained and questioned, “7,248 were soldiers, 2,288 were judges and prosecutors, 199 were local [officials” and 4,161 were civilians”, the Minister detailed.
He said 190 wanted soldiers, including nine generals, are still at large.
Ala tried to play down any effect on administration from the suspensions, saying almost 150,000 civil servants are hired each year. He declared that 10,000 police officers will be added, as well as 10,000 special forces.
The Minister defended the crackdown by saying another coup attempt could take place in the next 5 to 10 years if “the system was not completely changed and if institutions were not democratized”.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has moved to take tighter control of the military and intelligence services with restructuring of departments and responsibilities, in addition to the mass detention and suspension of personnel.
Erdoğan maintains that the coup was led by the organization of US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, saying that it had established itself as a “deep State” within the military, judiciary, intelligence services, and Government departments.