Turkish police fire tear gas, detain 12 in protests against dismissals

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish police detained at least 12 people and fired tear gas to disperse hundreds more protesting outside Ankara University against the dismissal of dozens of professors, police sources and Reuters witnesses said. Up to 1,000 people including academics had tried to gather at the campus on Friday, some inside and others on surrounding streets, but police blocked the entrance, firing tear gas and rubber bullets. Dozens of academics at the university were sacked this week, among more than 4,400 largely civil servants dismissed in the latest purge of a nationwide crackdown following a failed coup last July. Turkey has removed or suspended more than 125,000 people and formally arrested 40,000 since the attempted coup, in which rogue soldiers tried to overthrow President Tayyip Erdogan, killing more than 240 people. Ankara accuses U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen and his network of followers of masterminding and orchestrating the coup attempt. Gulen denies involvement. Small crowds outside the university in the Turkish capital chanted slogans against the ruling AK Party, including "AKP will be held accountable" and "shoulder to shoulder against fascism", while brawls erupted as police forced people away from the campus entrances. (Reporting by Umit Bektas and Ece Toksabay; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Ralph Boulton)