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 More than 15,200 education ministry staff have been fired and 21,000 teacher licenses withdrawn.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

“They won’t believe,” he said

AHMET KURUCAN “They won’t believe,” he said. “They won’t believe that we work for peace and the salvation of humanity. They won’t believe that we endeavor to create an island of peace where all of humanity can live in brotherhood. They won’t believe that you do not have expectations for this world or the next. […]

Veteran who lost legs in PKK attack removed from civil service over Gulen links

A Kırıkkale man who lost his both legs in a PKK attack while doing military service in the eastern province of Bingöl, has been sacked from a state institution after authorities found out that private colleges linked to Gülen Movement granted scholarship to his children.

Turkey’s post-coup brain drain

Bekir Cinar was working as an assistant professor at the political sciences department of Suleyman Sah University when it fell victim to the crackdown. He says that many academics with different views were working at the university. Cinar is currently continuing his scientific work at a British university. He considers this a major loss for Turkey, not least because it takes 20 to 30 years to become an academic.

Fethullah Gulen Talked to Kurdish TV on Kurds, human rights and Erdogan

Fethullah Gulen Talked to Kurdish TV NRT on Kurds, human rights and Erdogan.

Silencing Taraf daily

The liberal Taraf daily, where I write a column, is one of the few independent newspapers in this country. Those who don’t know the Turkish media well need to know that media outlets are largely owned by private holdings which have close ties to the government. Thus, Turkish newspapers need to consider whether their reporting would harm their bosses’ business connections with the government.

Coup d’état attempt: Turkey’s Reichstag fire?

On the evening of July 15, 2016, a friend called around 10:30pm and said that both bridges connecting the Asian and European sides of Istanbul were closed by military barricades. Moreover, military jets were flying over Ankara skies. As someone living on the European side of Istanbul and commuting to the Asian side to my university on a daily basis and spending many hours in traffic in order to do that, I immediately knew that the closure of both bridges was a sign of something very extraordinary taking place.

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

Former US Ambassador David Newton praises Gülen

Kimse Yok Mu opens school for Syrian children

Australian Relief Organisation feed thousand in Philippines and Sri Lanka in Qurban

Turkish Charities accelerate Ramadan aid efforts worldwide

Ethiopian PM: It is an honor to work with TUSKON

2-month-old denied breast milk for 17 days while under detention with mother

Fethullah Gülen on Islam, democracy and freedom of speech

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News