urkey vowed to root out allies of the U.S.-based cleric it blames for an abortive coup last week, widening a purge of the army, police and judiciary on Tuesday to universities and schools, the intelligence agency and religious authorities.
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.
“This parallel terrorist organization will no longer be an effective pawn for any country,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, referring to what the government has long alleged is a state within a state controlled by followers of Fethullah Gulen.
“We will dig them up by their roots,” he told parliament.
A spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan said the government was preparing a formal request to the United States for the extradition of Gulen, who Turkey says orchestrated the failed military takeover on Friday in which at least 232 people were killed.
U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the status of Gulen in a telephone call with Erdogan on Tuesday, the White House said, urging Ankara to show restraint as it pursues those responsible for the coup attempt.