25 July 2016
Apparently declaring a state of emergency a state of emergency following the failed coup earlier this month was not enough to help President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to fulfill all his political ambitions. The failed coup which was crused in a matter of hours by government troops, but has since been denounced by supporters of Tukey's secular democracy as a tactical hoax has given the Islamist Erdogan the opportunity to grant himself unlimited powers.
In the two weeks since the coup, Erdogan's government has embarked on an unprecedented purge of political opponents, which has led to over 13,000 arrests, mostly of soldiers, judges, prosecutors, teachers, university chiefs, hospital workers, and most recently journalists. On top of that 60,000 government employees have been sacked. Also in the aftermath of the staged failed coup, the president has ordered the closure and seizure of 1,043 private schools, 1,229 charities and foundations, 19 trade unions, 15 universities and 35 hospitals. The latest target are those who question the official script.
As AP reports, Turkish prosecutors are now investigating people who have alleged on social media and elsewhere that a July 15 coup attempt was a hoax carried out by the government, the country’s justice minister said on Sunday, heralding the suspension of free speech.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said in an interview with Turkey’s Kanal 7 television station Sunday that anyone who suggests the coup attempt was staged likely had a role in the insurrection, which was defeated by loyalist forces and pro-government protesters. There has been some internet speculation that Erdogan engineered the unrest in order to rally support prior to a massive and planned power grab which in effect usurps all the powers of the elected assembly to the president. The government and most commentators on Turkey’s recent turbulence dismiss this as a conspiracy theory, but then Erdogan's true opponents have been gradually neutralised ever since he gained the presidency.
“Just look at the people who are saying on social media that this was theater, public prosecutors are already investigating them. Most of them are losers who think it is an honor to die for Fethullah Gulen’s command,” Bozdag said.
In other crackdown measures, Turkey has disbanded the presidential guard after already detaining nearly 300 unit members suspected of plotting against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and authorities detained Muhammet Sait Gulen, a nephew of the cleric who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania.
Turkey has declared a state of emergency to restore security following the coup attempt, granting Erdogan the power to impose decrees without parliamentary approval. More than 13,000 people, including nearly 9,000 soldiers, 2,100 judges and prosecutors and 1,485 police, have been detained, according to the president. The crackdown on free speech and organised opposition have ended Turkey's ambitions of joining the European Union. This will be a blow to German Chancellor angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, who have been the main champions of Turkey's accession to full membership.
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