It was a tweet that set it all off. An innocuous post that plunged Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu into a personal, administrative and political hell — and a private trauma that has publicly exposed a growing rift within Turkey’s Islamists.
Following the July 15, 2016, coup attempt, Erdogan promised to “cleanse” Turkey of a “virus” that has plagued its state institutions. That cleansing has been primarily directed at two organisations: the PKK and the Gulen movement. But the crackdown on both organisations began long before the July coup attempt.
He has become a joke, albeit a dangerous one. He has become Muammar Qadhafi. Turkey is dangerously polarized. We know from Turkish political history that such polarization often leads to violence. I fear that Turkey is headed to a prolonged period of civil conflict if not civil war.
Followers of this liberal U.S.-based cleric, Gulen, were scapegoated for the July 2016 coup. Tens of thousands of police officers and security officials were fired and even arrested, simply for being followers of Gulen, an opponent of ISIS. The Turkish President seems willing to blame everyone but ISIS, or even offer much of an anti-ISIS campaign.
National War College professor Taşpınar says extradition remains unlikely because Ankara has presented no concrete evidence directly implicating him in the coup attempt. “I think what [Washington] should do is to basically tell the Turks they need a smoking gun. They need much clearer evidence, which is not there yet,” he says
Mr Erdogan likes to cast himself as a cure for the chaos spreading across Turkey. Yet he is also one of its causes. Courting the nationalist vote, Mr Erdogan has ruled out peace talks with the PKK. Responding to PKK attacks against security targets in 2015, he inflamed the conflict by arresting Kurdish politicians, pulverising towns in the southeast, and displacing some 500,000 people.
When the residents of Sirnak returned to the city last month after Turkish authorities lifted eight-month curfew during intense urban fighting between the Turkish security forces and Kurdish insurgents, they were shocked with what they saw: there was no home where they left.
Tens of thousands of residents of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sur are among an estimated half million people forced from their homes as a result of a brutal crackdown by Turkish authorities over the past year which may amount to collective punishment, said Amnesty International in a new report.
The majority of the abuse occurred during the times of arrest and interrogation, his report noted, adding that most of those who have been subjected to torture have not filed complaints “for fear of retaliation against them and their families and because of their distrust in the independence of the prosecution and the judiciary.
Another dirty AKP plan was revealed by AKP deputy Huseyin Kocabiyik. Kocabiyik in his Nov 13th tweet revealed the plan. “Assassinations will be staged against statesmen and furious people will hang all imprisoned PKK members and Hizmet supporters,” he said. “This is what is spoken among the public,” he tweeted.
Schools and educational centres in the Kurdistan Region associated with the Gulen movement have insisted they are a private company operating under the Kurdish Ministry of Education and have no ties to Turkey. “In short, we are a Kurdistan company,” an official at the schools told Rudaw, speaking anonymously. “Our institutions operate under the directives and regulations of the Kurdistan Ministry of Education.”
There are 20 schools serving to 12,719 students in Northern Iraq Kurdish Region. Kurdistan Regional Government announced that the 20 schools affiliated with the Gulen movement will not be shut down. There were rumors in the media, in the aftermath of the coup attempt on July 15, about the closure of the Gulen inspired schools.
Sherko Hama Amin, a member of the Kurdistan Parliament’s Education Committee, told NRT that schools should not be shut down over political reasons, especially a political issue outside the region. The Turkish government has previously, even before the July 15 military coup attempt, called on the KRG to close schools connected to the Gulen movement in the region.