Not content with implementing a state of emergency which has given Erdogan unlimited powers to continue an unprecedented purge of political enemies which has seen over 60,000 workers sacked, over 13,000 arrested, among them soldiers, judges, prosecutors, teachers, deans, hospital workers, and as of today, 42 journalists, in the aftermath of the staged failed coup, which also includes the closure and seizure of 1,043 private schools, 1,229 charities and foundations, 19 trade unions, 15 universities and 35 hospitals Turkey’s latest target are those who refuse to question the official script.
As AP reports, Turkish prosecutors are now investigating people who have alleged on social media and elsewhere that a July 15 coup attempt was a hoax carried out by the government, the country’s justice minister said Sunday, reflecting a farcical crackdown on free speech.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said in an interview with Turkey’s Kanal 7 television station Sunday that anyone who suggests the coup attempt was staged likely had a role in the insurrection, which was defeated by loyalist forces and pro-government protesters. There has been some internet speculation that Erdogan engineered the unrest in order to rally support and thereby increase his power, a conspiracy theory rejected by the government and most commentators on Turkey’s recent turbulence.
“Just look at the people who are saying on social media that this was theater, public prosecutors are already investigating them. Most of them are losers who think it is an honor to die for Fethullah Gulen’s command,” Bozdag said.
Turkey also said it plans to hire more than 20,000 teachers to replace those who have been fired in a purge of suspected coup plotters in schools and other institutions. Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz said the new teachers will replace state educators who have been dismissed as well as teachers in private schools with alleged links to Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric who has denied Turkish accusations that he directed the coup attempt that killed about 290 people. One can only imagine the educational “slant” that will be part of the new educational curriculum.
In other crackdown measures, Turkey has disbanded the presidential guard after already detaining nearly 300 unit members suspected of plotting against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and authorities detained Muhammet Sait Gulen, a nephew of the cleric who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania.
Turkey has declared a three-month state of emergency to restore security following the coup attempt, granting Erdogan the power to impose decrees without parliamentary approval. More than 13,000 people, including nearly 9,000 soldiers, 2,100 judges and prosecutors and 1,485 police, have been detained, according to the president.
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