The Guardian is reporting that Turkey’s president has signed a decree that will close more than 1,000 schools with links to Fethullah Gülen, the exiled cleric blamed for masterminding last weekend’s failed military coup.
According to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s office, the decree will close 1,043 private schools, 1,229 foundations and associations, 35 medical institutions, 19 unions, and 15 universities. Their assets will be seized by the treasury. The presidency said that parliament will be able to vote on the measure.
It is the first presidential decree since the announcement of a three-month state of emergency on Wednesday. This enables Erdoğan’s cabinet to bypass parliament and suspend rights as they deem necessary. Decrees passed during the state of emergency have the force of law and cannot be appealed.
The government says the measure is necessary to prevent further unrest and insists it will only target those immediately associated with the coup attempt. However, there are concerns that the crackdown has been widened to root out all potential sympathisers of Gülen’s movement, turning the investigation of coup plotters into an all-out witch hunt.
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