Erdogan drags Turkey toward totalitarianism

Escorted by an army of guards Erdogan is greeting the public from behind dividers.
Escorted by an army of guards Erdogan is greeting the public from behind dividers.


Date posted: August 22, 2016

JOSEPH K. GRIEBOSKI

On July 15, a faction of the Turkish armed forces attempted a coup d’état against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leaving 290 dead and over 1,400 injured.

Though the attempt ultimately failed, its aftermath and the president’s swift response have the potential fundamentally to shape Turkey’s future as a democratic nation.

Though the Erdogan government has accused the Hizmet movement, led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, of orchestrating the uprising, Gulen has denied any involvement and condemned the attempt. Despite this, supporters and suspected members of the Islamic religious and social movement—which has been designated a terrorist organization by the Turkish government—have faced increasing persecution.

The government of Turkey intends to introduce a resolution at the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting of Organization of Islamic Cooperation calling on all 57 member states to designate the Gulen Movement as a terrorist organization.

The Erdogan regime even has threatened its relationship with the United States unless the U.S. extradites Gulen back to Turkey.

The sheer speed and scale of President Erdogan’s crackdown in response to the attempted putsch is astounding. More than 60,000 soldiers, police, judges, civil servants, and teachers have been detained, dismissed, or suspended. This includes 6,000 military members, nearly 9,000 police officers, as many as 3,000 judges, and one-third of all serving generals and admirals.

The post-coup purge particularly has targeted education officials and staff due to the Gulen movement’s emphasis on schools and learning. More than 15,200 education ministry staff have been fired and 21,000 teacher licenses withdrawn.

The reprisals likely extend far beyond those involved in planning the coup and are a troubling indication of the extent to which the president will go in retaliation.

The Turkish government has taken the purges a step further in its treatment of detainees. According to Amnesty International, prisoners have been subjected to abuse including beatings, torture, and rape in detention centers in Ankara and Istanbul. The human rights watchdog reported that detainees were also denied food, water, medical treatment, and contact with family and lawyers, who were not properly informed of charges against their clients.

Interviewers described scenes in a detention facility where hundreds of prisoners displayed visible broken bones and bruises, with some so badly injured they were unable to walk.

turkey-coup-torture-1

turkey-coup-torture-2

Such mistreatment clearly constitutes a grave violation of human rights and should raise acute concerns about the direction Erdogan regime is taking. Eroding fundamental freedoms sets a dangerous precedent for what increasingly appears to be a marked shift away from democratic rule towards authoritarianism.

Much of the extensive, far-reaching crackdown has President Erdogan’s declaration of a three-month state of emergency on July 20. Emergency rule permits the president and Cabinet to rule by decree, bypass parliament in enacting new legislation, and suspend rights as they deem necessary.

A day after the declaration, the Turkish government “temporarily” suspended its compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights, an international treaty established to protect civil liberties and rule of law. Four days later, Erdogan called on parliament to consider reintroducing capital punishment—which Turkey outlawed in 2004—in response to public pressure to execute those behind the putsch attempt.

The all-encompassing, repressive nature of these actions is deeply worrying. All signs point to Erdogan seizing on the opportunity provided by the attempted insurrection, using it as justification to fully consolidate his power over Turkey.

Source: The Times-Tribune , August 22, 2016


Related News

In Turkey, The Man To Blame For Most Everything(!) Is A U.S.-Based Cleric

It isn’t just last month’s attempted coup that the Gulen movement is being blamed for! Everything from suicide bomb attacks to past mine disasters are being laid at the cleric’s doorstep. Just to name a few: last November’s Turkish shootdown of a Russian fighter jet, an explosion at a coal mine in Soma led to an underground fire that killed 301 people in 2014, a horrific suicide bombing at a wedding in Gaziantep killed dozens in August and even killing of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2007.

Hizmet, politics and political parties

In the past, the Hizmet movement never formed alliances or got involved in an organic relationship with any political party. At the same time, it never ever demanded anything from political parties that strayed outside of the above-outlined principles, or was contrary to rights, the law, democracy, merit or the will of God. The Hizmet movement gains its strength from this fullness of heart and independence.

Fethullah Gulen’s Message regarding Rumors Circulated in Turkish Media about a Second Coup Attempt

Fethullah Gulen: Once again, the Turkish media, under government control or government pressure, is circulating horrific rumors, this time about a supposed second coup attempt in the works, supposedly prepared by my sympathizers with the backing of the United States. Such rumors are unfounded and irresponsible.

Smear campaign against Gülen fails after new details emerge on eavesdropping

The defamation campaign against the Gülen or Hizmet movement, which the Turkish president and his political Islamist Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government accuse of illegally wiretapping government officials, collapsed after it became clear that foreign security and intelligence agencies were involved in eavesdropping on senior Turkish officials.

Did Erdogan stage the coup?

Erdogan called the coup attempt and the excuse to crush his opponents “a gift from God.” But was the coup really “a gift from God” or was it Erdogan’s gift to himself? Was it Turkey’s equivalent of the Reichstag Fire?

Gülen: purge of public officials seems ‘arbitrary’

The Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who has inspired the popular civic and social Hizmet (Service) movement, has said that the reassignment of thousands of public officials from their posts without any disciplinary procedures following the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption scandal seems to have been conducted on an arbitrary basis.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Students visiting Turkey bid one another a teary farewell

Today’s Zaman: six years of intense coverage

Turkish schools in Afghanistan won 147 medals this year

Ugandan opinion leader refutes news report which defames Hizmet Movement

US says it does not consider Gülen movement a terror organization

UN Interfaith Iftar Dinner

13 criteria Erdogan regime uses to determine Gulen supporters are terrorists

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News