Under the post-coup state of emergency, special decrees are netting all those accused of backing “terrorist groups” – a label considered so broad that the EU is insisting Turkey should narrow it if Turks are to be granted visa-free travel to Europe.
The state has targeted 1,100 academics who signed a declaration calling for a halt to Turkey’s conflict with the PKK Kurdish militants – and accusing the government of “massacres” in Kurdish areas.
Derya Keskin, a sociology professor, is among those fired from Kocaeli University and expelled from the public service.
“The Gulen movement is against everything we stand for: democracy, justice, secularism and peace,” she tells me.
“But since we signed the peace declaration, the university administration wanted to get rid of us. If there is no free thinking or free speech, there can be no science or democracy. The government wants to get rid of everybody who doesn’t obey them.”
President Erdogan has defended the purge, saying Turkey “needs time to clean up the extensions of these terrorist organisations”.
But he has also acknowledged that some innocent people may have been unfairly caught up in the arrests, and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has now talked of crisis centres being established to handle claims from those unjustly accused.