"I would like to underline that the declaration of the state of emergency has the sole objective of taking the necessary measures, in the face of the terrorist threat that our country is facing", he said, vowing that the "virus in the military will be cleansed".
"The President spoke by phone today with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan", a White House statement said Tuesday. "They will pay a heavy price for this", he said.
Turkish lawmakers convened Thursday to endorse sweeping new powers for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that would allow him to expand a crackdown in the wake of last week's failed coup.
The agency said the schools are linked to Gulen, a former ally of Erdogan who lives in Pennsylvania and has denied accusations that he engineered the coup attempt.
Turkey has demanded Gulen's extradition from the United States.
Turkish authorities have blamed Gulen, a one-time Erdogan ally, of being behind the attempt to topple Turkey's government and called on the USA to arrest and extradite him.
The lira weakened to beyond 3 to the US dollar after state broadcaster TRT said all university deans had been ordered to resign, recalling the sorts of broad purges seen in the wake of successful military coups of the past.
"People are being pursued without any evidence that they participated in this coup", he said, adding that the government is "targeting people for their political affiliations". Government officials have publicly said that capital punishment might be reintroduced for coup plotters.
Even without the emergency measures, the government has already imposed a crackdown that has included mass arrests and the closure of hundreds of schools. More than 20,000 teachers and administrators have been suspended from the Education Ministry. A total of 50,000 civil service employees have been fired in the purges, which have reached Turkey's national intelligence service and the prime minister's office.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says Turkey's state of emergency should only last as long as it's "absolutely necessary".
"We are going to take care of this country first, before we worry about everyone else in the world", he said.
The White House has come out against the coup attempt and emphasized that Turkey has a "democratically-elected civilian government", but has encouraged the Erdogan government to be lawful in its investigation. In a reference to the coup plotters, he said: "I just want this country to be rescued from those dishonorable people".