The Turkish army is looking to recruit about 43,000 personnel in 2018 as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sacked thousands of military officers in the post-coup purge.

Erdogan's government had been dismissing and apprehending tens of thousands of army personnel, academics, and those in the judiciary after a dramatic coup was attempted in July 2016. The administration has defended the harsh measures saying these are necessary to remove "coup-plotters" from various state bodies.

The Turkish army has now decided to bolster its force in the coming months with more recruitment. According to the state-backed Anadolu Agency, more than 3,700 officers and 5,300 sergeants will be hired among the proposed 43,000 military personnel.

Over 13,000 specialised sergeants and 20,000 contract staff will also be recruited. The defence ministry has already inducted more than 18,000 new army staff of various ranks since the botched coup attempt.

Erdogan has either removed or arrested as many as 200,000 people from various institutions. The dramatic takeover attempt left up to 250 people dead and 2,200 others injured.

While the Erdogan administration blames the US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen for the coup attempt, the self-exiled prominent leader has denied any links. Despite repeated attempts by Ankara, Gulen has not been extradited to Turkey, where he is likely to face harsh punishment if caught.

President Erdogan has often accused the western world of siding with coup-plotters and "terrorists", and lashed out at foreign powers for not showing enough solidarity with the country. The Turkish leader claimed the coup attempt was "scripted" on foreign soil.

Erdogan had announced a three-month-long emergency after the coup attempt and shut down dozens of media outlets. Serious concerns have been raised about the curbs on freedom of expression in the country and what is seen as Erdogan's authoritative style of governance.

Turkey Coup
A traveller leaves Ataturk airport on 16 July, as Turkish army tanks enter the airport AFP/Getty file photo