Witch hunt spreads to courthouse

The government’s systematic purge of members of the police force after the corruption scandal that became public on Dec. 17, 2013 has now spread to other state institutions, as 200 administrative personnel at the Ankara Courthouse have been reassigned on the grounds that they are members of the “parallel structure.”

Another sweeping purge operation was carried out after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered the profiling of people, on the assumption that sympathizers of the Hizmet movement within the bureaucracy are members of this “parallel state,” in his address to Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputies in the province of Afyon on Sunday.

In the latest massive purge operation, a number of judges, prosecutors and even those who served tea and coffee were removed from their posts and reassigned to several other provinces of Turkey on the grounds that they have connections to the “parallel structure.”

Ankara Chief Prosecutor Fethi Şimşek’s secretary was among those who were purged. Prosecutor Şimşek had not been informed of the decision in advance, reports said.

Erdoğan’s government is continuing to harass his opponents, especially people and companies affiliated with the Hizmet movement, inspired by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, for their critical stance against the corruption that has implicated senior government officials.

16,000 prosecutors, judges and administrative personnel have been removed from their posts so far in a series of massive purges.

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