Turkey has widened its massive post-coup purge from the military and police to the education sector to root out supporters of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom it accuses of orchestrating the attempted putsch.
The council asked university rectors to “urgently examine the situation of all academic and administrative personnel linked with FETO” – or the “Fethullah Terrorist Organisation”, as it labels Gulen’s supporters – and report back by August 5.
It also told universities that academics who are already abroad on work or study missions should return home “within the shortest possible time”.
On Tuesday, the government suspended 15,200 state education employees and demanded the resignation of almost 1,600 deans from private and state universities over alleged links to Gulen.
Gulen lives in Pennsylvania but retains vast interests in Turkey ranging from media to finance to schools and wields influence in various apparatus including the judiciary and police.
The move follows last week’s failed coup and comes amid a wide-ranging purge of state employees.
Around 50,000 soldiers, police, judges, civil servants and teachers have been suspended or detained since the coup attempt, stirring tensions across the country of 80 million which borders Syria’s chaos and is a Western ally against Islamic State.