We’ve been covering the rise of tyranny in Turkey with considerable dismay ever since the failed coup attempt earlier this year. President Tayyip Erdogan has, without question, used the 24 hours of unrest as an excuse to consolidate his power and eliminate his perceived enemies. While roughly 100,000 people have been “detained” with their whereabouts unknown, the party line thus far has been that they are at least alive, though their condition is in question. But that may be about to take a turn for the worse. Though the death penalty has been officially banned in Turkey for years, Erdogan is pushing to have it revived so he can begin executing those who he views as a threat to his power. (Express UK)
Capital punishment was abolished in Turkey in 2004, as the state tried to gain access to the European Union. But after the failed attempt to overthrow Mr Erdogan on July 15, which left 294 dead and many injured, the penalty could now be reinstated.
Tens of thousands of people in the military, judiciary, civil service and education have been dismissed or detained in a relentless crackdown against the alleged plotters.
While the EU and a number of its member states have called on Turkey to act within the law, Mr Erdogan has so far failed to listen after announcing he plans to bring back the death penalty.
The European Union is already pushing back hard on this announcement, stating that such a move will endanger Turkey’s chances of joining the union. But does Erdogan really care at this point? He seems far more intent on fostering relations with Russia, Iran, Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela these days, and the EU is looking more and more like it’s coming apart at the seams anyway.
At the same time that all of this is going on, the imprisonment of Erdogan’s “enemies” continues unabated, along with the elimination of the free press. In just the past couple of weeks, thousands of additional Turks who the president claims were involved in the coup have been dismissed from their posts, with many of them being rounded up for detention. (Reuters)
Turkey said it had dismissed a further 10,000 civil servants and closed 15 more media outlets over suspected links with terrorist organizations and U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for orchestrating a failed coup in July.
More than 100,000 people had already been sacked or suspended and 37,000 arrested since the abortive putsch in an unprecedented crackdown President Tayyip Erdogan says is crucial for wiping out the network of Gulen from the state apparatus.
Thousands more academics, teachers, health workers, prison guards and forensics experts were among the latest to be removed from their posts through two new executive decrees published on the Official Gazette late on Saturday.
It’s as if we’re watching a horror movie playing out before our eyes in slow motion and nothing can be done about it. Turkey remains on our list of “allies” because of their strategic geographic location and their regional military muscle. There has been nothing coming from the United States in terms of slowing down this express train to tyranny aside from John Kerry mouthing a few words of caution. How many Turks will have to disappear before we step up and declare that we can’t be allies with this sort of tyrant? A half million? A million? The numbers are already heading in that direction and Erdogan’s iron grasp on his nation continues to strengthen.