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EghtesadOnline: At least 15,200 of Turkey's education workers were suspended over last week’s attempt to overthrow the Turkish government, Turkish Ministry of Education said in a statement.

The Turkish government suspends the employment of more than 15,000 people at the education ministry, sacked 257 people working at the prime minister’s office and 492 clerics at the department for religious affairs. Additionally, over 1,500 university deans were asked to resign, Ria Novosti reported.

Late on Friday, the Turkish authorities said that an attempted coup was taking place in the country. The coup attempt was suppressed by early Saturday.

Turkish authorities have already sacked thousands of people across the country, including members of the armed forces, governors, military advisers, prosecutors, intelligence officers and judges, reports FNA.

"The events of July 15 have shown that all the people involved in activities of a terrorist group, should be completely excluded from all the spheres. Within this framework, Ministry of Education is carrying out a comprehensive activities to check staff in all the educational institutions. 15,200 people have been suspended, investigation is ongoing in regard to them," the statement said.

It followed the firing of nearly 8,800 policemen, and the arrests of 6,000 soldiers, 2,700 judges and prosecutors, dozens of governors, and more than 100 generals, or just under one-third of the general corps. Some 20 news websites critical of the government have also been blocked.

The Turkish government says it is carrying out a legitimate security operation to safeguard the country in the aftermath of a failed coup that came close to toppling the elected president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The government claims those arrested or fired had links to Fethullah Gülen, the US-based Islamic cleric whom Turkey accuses of orchestrating the coup, which left more than 300 dead at the weekend. On Tuesday it announced it had prepared a dossier to send to the US in expectation of Gülen’s extradition.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the documents would be reviewed to determine whether they met the requirements for a formal extradition request for Gülen, who lives in exile in Pennsylvania, the Guardian reported.

Barack Obama and Erdogan discussed the cleric’s status during a telephone conversation on Tuesday, Earnest said, adding that the US president pledged to provide any assistance needed, but urged his counterpart to follow due process as his government pursues those responsible for the coup.

But the scale of the arrests and firings led to fears that Erdogan is using the situation to settle scores with anyone perceived to pose any kind of threat to the government, whether or not they were involved in the coup.

Turkish coup Turkish government purge