Turkish Leader Slams West Over Crackdown After Failed Coup

by Abel Hampton July 24, 2016, 4:46

Erdogan blames Gulen for orchestrating the attempted military coup against the government last Friday, which ended with almost 3,000 soldiers arrested and 265 people, including civilians and alleged coup plotters, killed.

The coup "is no excuse to take the country away from fundamental rights and the rule of law", said European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, according to the Christian Science Monitor, "and we will be extremely vigilant on that". The Justice and State Departments are reviewing material Turkey has provided the USA about the coup to determine whether it amounts to a formal extradition request.

Erdogan needs to understand that the United States can not be bullied into abetting his consolidation of a dictatorship.

In the meantime, Gulen himself has repeatedly denied any links to the coup, and has condemned it. He also claimed that his supporters are being framed in what he says may have been a provocation false-flag staged by Erdogan himself.

It is the first measure implemented under new powers granted to the president by a three-month state of emergency declaration issued Thursday.

Turkey has also captured one of his key aides, a presidency official said.

Some Turks, possibly influenced by traditional mistrust of USA policy in the region, have speculated that the United States is protecting Gulen and knew about the plot to overthrow the Turkish government.

Turkey's president has extended the period in which suspects allegedly involved in the failed military coup can be detained without charge.

A state of emergency has been declared; hundreds of schools have been closed; dozens of journalists have had their credentials revoked.

But Mehmet Simsek, Turkey's deputy prime minister, said most people won't see major changes in their lives.

Erdogan has blamed Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen for the coup attempt last week.

Already more than 60,000 people are thought to have been suspended, detained or placed under investigation for their connection to the Gulen movement. His followers - estimates range between 5 million and 10 million - praise him as a voice for moderate, tolerant Islam and inspiration for charitable works. In the meantime, Erdogan said that the emergency stance could easily be prolonged if necessary. As charter schools, which are publicly funded, they can't teach religion.

Since the coup, massive crowds of flag-waving Erdogan supporters have taken to the streets night after night to celebrate their leader. While most of the detainees are military personnel, many judges and civil servants were also arrested. An estimated 50,000 people have been removed from government jobs, with many have been jailed, due to their association - real or suspected - with the Gülenist movement, a liberal Sunni organisation led by Fethullah Gülen, a former imam living in exile in the US.


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