Evidently Erdogan’s previous purges were just the beginning. Now he’s declared a three month state of emergency and really cranked up the purge machinery.
He fired all university deans and suspended 21,000 private school teachers in yet another reaction to an ever-more-suspicious coup.
And he was just getting warmed up:
A total of 50,000 civil service employees have been fired in the purges, which have reached Turkey’s national intelligence service and the prime minister’s office.
The government has also revoked the press credentials of 34 journalists because of alleged ties to Gulen’s movement, Turkish media reported.
Authorities have rounded up about 9,000 people — including 115 generals, 350 officers, 4,800 other military personnel and 60 military high school students — for alleged involvement in the coup attempt. Turkey’s defense ministry has also sacked at least 262 military court judges and prosecutors, according to Turkish media reports.
There are even calls to kick Turkey out of NATO, given the severity of the purge. Hell, even John Kerry is saying it, and he’s no Colin Powell.
Claire Berlinski says that things in Turkey are getting bad:
It’s hard to overstate how sinister this turn of events is for Turkey. Mass trials are already underway. Defendants have been escorted by men brandishing weapons. They are not soldiers, nor are they wearing police uniforms. While Islamists weren’t the only faction of Turkish society opposed to the coup, the coup has unleashed all of Turkey’s Islamist psychopaths, sociopaths, criminals, and thugs; they have been verbally authorized to walk the streets and defend the nation against coup plots. The government has suggested it should be easier for people to acquire guns so they can defend the nation against coups. (It was not difficult to begin with.) Just as nationalists and police from Erdoğan’s ruling AKP party were recently unleashed against the Kurdish population in the southeast, they have now been emboldened to pursue any and all dissenters in Turkey.
So far, Turkey’s 15 million Alevis, the country’s largest minority, have been a target of the surge in Sunni Muslim excitement. AKP mobs have reportedly entered Alevi districts and suburbs chanting “Allahu ekbir,” and, “The AKP has come—where are the Alevis?” A memorial to the largely left-wing and Kurdish victims of ISIS’s October 10 bombing in Ankara has been attacked, as have Syrian shops and the offices of the Kurdish-focused HDP. Until now, many Turks have tacitly assumed the military to be the guarantor of last resort against the prospect of spiraling violence, but the military is now too discredited to play that role. Turks are frightened, and with good reason.
Berlinski also voices an ideas I’ve heard kicking about: That the coup might have been so badly bungled because coup plotters were forced to launch it early:
According to Ahmet Sık, a journalist who was arrested after writing a book that charged the Gülenists with extensive infiltration of the Turkish state, the weekend coup was indeed headed by Gülenist officers who had been planning to stage it before a promotions meeting in August, when they were due to be dismissed. Their plans were discovered, he writes, and they knew they were to be arrested at 4am on Saturday morning. He believes the officers, aware they had been rumbled, decided to attempt the coup early on Friday night. This would explain why the coup was so poorly planned. Consistent with this, Erdoğan has acknowledged he knew of “military activity” at least seven-to-ten hours before the coup.
This is not incompatible with my theory that Erdogan had advanced knowledge of the coup and let it happen to consolidate his own power.
Remember: Erdogan said that all he wanted was the same powers as Hitler. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
Instapundit Glenn Reynolds says that what Erdogan is really doing is “eradicating the last remnants of the secular Turkish state, as he proceeds to turn Turkey into, instead, an Islamic State. As he builds an enormous palace, consolidates power, and elevates Islamists over secular types, it almost looks as if he’s trying to restore the Ottoman Empire with himself in the role of Sultan. In fact, Erdogan has made that comparison himself.”
It looks like, thanks to the coup, He’s already a good way there.