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Turkey purges 4,000 more officials, blocks Wikipedia


The political climate in Turkey is once again tensed, after the referendum, the government has expanded its crackdown on dissent and free expression over the weekend, purging nearly more than 4,000 public officials, blocking access to Wikipedia and banning television matchmaking shows.

The police detained more than 1,000 workers and suspended another 9,000 accused of having ties to an Islamic group founded by a United States-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen.

It was not immediately clear exactly why the Wikipedia site was targeted, but the ban is the latest against freedom of expression in Turkey.

More than 150 news outlets have been shut down by decree since July, according to an estimate.

According to a statement published by the state-owned news wire, the government justified the ban by claiming that the site’s articles constituted “a smear campaign against Turkey in the international arena,”

A total of 3,974 civil servants were fired on Saturday from several ministries and judicial bodies, and 45 civil society groups and health clinics were shut down.

The recent dismissals indicate that an estimated 140,000 people have now been purged from the state and private sectors, and more than 1,500 civil groups closed, since a failed coup attempt last year.

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