Reign of Terror Accelerates in Turkey
by Stephen Lendman
Crises create opportunities for leaders to more easily do what otherwise would be harder, not feasible or practicable.
Turkey’s Erdogan is taking full advantage - mass arresting regime critics in the wake of last Friday’s real or state-sponsored rebellion - practically stillborn when launched. Perhaps it was planned this way.
He and prime minister Binali Yildirim vowed retaliation against US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and his “movement,” accusing him of orchestrating Friday events - despite no corroborating evidence.
Calling his supporters a “parallel terrorist organization,” he vowed to “dig them up by their roots so that no clandestine terrorist organization will have the nerve to betray our blessed people again.”
According to Reuters, Turkish “(a)uthorities (so far) suspended or detained close to 20,000 soldiers (including 26 generals and admirals remanded to custody), police, judges and civil servants” since last Friday - an astonishing number so swiftly, subjects likely preselected, targeted in the wake of what happened, perhaps many more to come.
International criticism is tepid at best. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry called foreign critics coup supporters.
The Wall Street Journal reported “(b)ruised and bandaged military officers appeared at a lengthy court session in a closed courtroom in Ankara, raising questions about the judicial process they would face.”
Former Turkish air force commander General Akin Ozturk was among them - television footage showing his bruised face and bandaged ear.
Turkey calls Fethullah Gulen the coup mastermind, Ozturk its co-leader, a charge he denies, saying he tried preventing rebellion when he heard what was planned.
The state controlled Anadolu news agency published his alleged confession, then removed the report from its web site and related tweets.
Ozturk and other alleged coup plotters face charges, including attempting to assassinate Erdogan, leading an armed group, terrorism and treason.
The Journal called him an earlier rising star, “ris(ing) quickly to the rank of general…serv(ing) briefly as” air force intelligence chief, then its commander in 2013.
He was replaced last summer but stayed on as a Supreme Military Council member, its ruling authority.
Erdogan’s rule is hugely repressive, heading a fascist police state masquerading as democratic.
He’s using Friday’s rebellion to consolidate dictatorial power - eliminating regime critics, perhaps thousand more targeted before he’s through.
If Turkey reinstates the earlier abolished death penalty as Erdogan seems to favor, saying “(w)hy should I keep (coup plotters) and feed them in prisons for years to come,” perhaps a bloodbath will follow.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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