A week has passed since the attempted failed coup plunged Turkey into a state of dim political realities. On Friday 15 July 2016, a military coup was launched against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Allegedly organized by Fethullah Gulen, the US-based Islamic cleric– officially accused by President Erdogan–the coup appeared well planned and very nearly succeeded.
Since then, a tough response is escalating by the Turkey government against the perpetrators of the failed coup. According to the BBC, more than 50, 000 public servants are affected by the crackdown. More than 15,000 employees at the ministry of education, 21,000 teachers, 257 officials at the prime minister’s office, 1,500 staffers from the Ministry of Finance, 492 clerics at the Directorate for Religious Affairs, and more than 1,500 university deans were fired. Additionally, nearly 8,800 police, 6,000 soldiers, 2,700 judges and prosecutors, and around 100 generals were sacked. Even the media, who are usually critical of anti-government propagators, were part of the purges in the aftermath of the coup. As a result, some 20 website-based news agencies are blocked and the press credential of about 34 journalists have already been revoked. President Erdogan also asked the US to extradite Gulen, by warning that “it would be a big mistake if the US decided not to extradite him.”
Despite criticisms by human rights groups and other states considering the speedy scale of arrest as it “lacks process based evidence,” Turkey’s state officials including President Erdogan’s claim that every action being carried out is within the rule of law.
President Erdogan referred to the attempted failed coup as “a crime against the Turkish state.” He vowed to clean up the “poisoned military” and by extension to restructure the army.
Now, in Turkey, a series of new developments are keeping President Erdogan’s government busy in the immediate aftermath of the attempted coup. By 20 July, the Turkish Parliament declared a three-month State of Emergency. Erdogan’s government is also expected to reinstate the death penalty, which was abolished in 2004’s reform with the aim of gaining membership to the European Union (EU).
The EU is, however, very much concerned with the ongoing and serious measures being taken in Turkey against the suspected plotters of the coup, and the intention to suspend human rights is worrying. The EU openly said that Turkey’s measures, particularly against academic institutions, the media, and the judiciary are unacceptable.
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