The proposed constitutional change grants the presidency new powers to directly appoint a vast range of public officials – cabinet ministers, provincial governors, and judges to the highest courts in the land. Simply put, the government’s plans are an enabling act: they are designed to strengthen the individual over the collective.
Turkish news outlets lit up this weekend after a former Republican lawmaker published an op-ed at The Hill calling on the U.S. government to extradite Fethullah Gulen, an exiled Muslim cleric whose return to Turkey is an obsession for the NATO nation’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen said on Monday that the possible assassination of an important politician from either the Republican People’s Party (CHP) or the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the coming days might be blamed on him by pro-government circles.
The European intelligence contradicts the Turkish government’s claim that exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind the plot to overthrow the Turkish government. Ankara is seeking Mr Gulen’s extradition from the US. The huge wave of arrests was already previously prepared.
Victims of Turkey’s post-coup purge have been taking another toll from lawyers who ask outrageously high prices either to keep themselves out of trouble or to exploit from the lost causes. In Turkey, the presumption of innocence has been dramatically reversed and now everybody is assumed guilty until they prove their innocence.
The family that owns Dogan Holding has long been influential in Turkey’s secular establishment and ran afoul of Mr. Erdogan’s Islamist-based A.K.P. Party in 2009. With the company targeted again and fearful of losing more assets, the newspaper Hurriyet is widely seen as pulling punches to appease Mr. Erdogan by firing journalists and quashing even mildly critical news stories.
The AKP government, under emergency rule, has taken over hundreds companies, seized the assets of businessmen and shut down institutions linked to the movement. Despite the fact that Gülen denied the accusation and called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, President Erdoğan – calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” – and the Turkish government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement.
Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK) representative in the Austrian province of Vorarlberg Hasan Güray Özüyer has said in his twitter message, “Let [the AKP male] supporters enter into [polygamous] marriages with four wives of jailed followers of Fethullah Gülen.”
The government misused terrorism laws against followers of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom the government accuses of masterminding the July coup attempt, The mass arrests and removal of safeguards against detainee abuse led to rising reports of torture and other ill-treatment in custody.
US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen said on Tuesday that fabricated stories in the pro-government media about new terror attacks and political assassinations in Turkey could be associated with followers of the faith-based Gülen movement.
Religiously, the Gülen Movement both reflects the long tradition of Turkish Sufi brotherhoods, and Gülen’s own emphasis on societal change through education, humanitarian activism, and interfaith dialogue. Gülen never sympathized with, or adopted, the AKP’s more conservative form of political Islam.
A day after former teacher Ş.A., mother of a week-old premature infant, was taken into police custody over links to the faith-based Gülen movement while she was on her way to the hospital to feed the baby, another mother was detained as part of the same investigation while her twins were left in an intensive care unit.