Turkish authorities have arrested more than 13,000 people believed to be tied to the coup attempt and have gutted the country’s civil services sector suspending over 60,000 educators, judges and police.
Erdogan’s Turkey now finds itself in a state of disrepair in the wake of a failed coup attempt that left at least 246 dead and more than 2,000 injured as the country’s president called his people to go into the streets and clash with the military forces attempting to overthrow the government. The coup forces, which labelled themselves a Peace Council, opened fire on civilians with helicopters, tanks, and automatic rifles.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday authorities had imprisoned over 13,000 people on accusations of treason, including 8,831 soldiers and 2,745 judges – 36% of the entire Turkish judiciary.
"The cleansing is continuing, and we remain very determined," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech late Wednesday describing opposition as a "virus" within the Turkish military and state institutions that had spread like "cancer."
Many worry that the government’s dragnet has extended well beyond those who could have been connected to the botched coup plot or even sympathizers to the cause in light of President Erdogan’s move in June to pass a constitutional amendment revoking legislative immunity for Kurdish opposition lawmakers from the HDP. Erdogan also successfully pushed to expand the country’s “terrorist” laws to extend to virtually any opposition member deemed by decree.
Equally troubling are the prison conditions for those accused of treason, an imprisonment of the kind that may be worse than death and that is to persist indefinitely for those convicted. The conditions evidenced in the photo below suggest that whether or not the accused are formally executed their time may be limited.
Will the Erdogan regime fly off the rails even further and engage in a public horror show leading to the deaths of thousands? The leadership may overestimate their hand in light of NATO’s decision to increase funding to Turkey following the 1980 coup where over 650,000 individuals were arrested, over 500 were executed, and hundreds of others died in prison.