ISTANBUL: Turkey passed two new decrees Saturday — one that expelled more than 4,000 civil servants and another that banned television dating programs.
The country's Official Gazette published the decrees Saturday evening. The first named thousands of civil servants to be dismissed, including nearly 500 academics and more than 1,000 Turkish military personnel. It also reinstated 236 people to their jobs.
The second decree, among other things, banned radio and television programs for "finding friends and spouses" by adding a clause to the article on protecting children in Turkey's media law. The shows will not be allowed to air without television content rating symbols.
Dating programs, which draw high ratings and large ad revenues, have been a hot topic this year. Petitions have called for their bans and lawmakers across the political spectrum have criticized the programs as having a negative influence on families. Government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus has described them as contrary to Turkish customs and religion.
The state of emergency that followed last summer's coup attempt has allowed the Turkish government to rule by decrees. Since then, more than 47,000 people have been arrested and 100,000 have been purged for alleged connections to terror organizations.
Turkey says U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen-orchestrated the coup attempt. He denies the allegations.