Monday, July 25, 2016

TURKEY - Erdogan's Crackdown

"Turkish government crackdown touches thousands after coup attempt" PBS NewsHour 7/19/2016

COMMENT:  A nation on the road to dictatorship via Hitler's playbook.


SUMMARY:  In Istanbul, thousands of supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan went out to the streets, demanding retribution for those responsible for the coup over the weekend.  Meanwhile, even more Turkish civil servants were detained or suspended from their jobs.  Special correspondent Marcia Biggs talks to Hari Sreenivasan about the crackdown.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  President Obama spoke by phone today with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  The U.S. Justice and State Departments are reviewing Turkey's extradition request for Fethullah Gulen, the man the country says is responsible for the attempted coup last week.

And in its aftermath, the crackdown has only intensified, with thousands more civil servants suspended from their jobs today, in addition to the thousands already under detention.

For more, we're joined now from Istanbul by special correspondent Marcia Biggs.

Marcia, you're standing in front what looks like, what — is this a pro-Erdogan rally?

MARCIA BIGGS, special correspondent:  Indeed, Hari.

This is the largest protest of the last five days.  The first night, as you will remember, on Friday night, when the coup was attempted, President Erdogan called on his people to come down to the streets to save democracy, as he said, to protect him, to protect the government, and this is the fifth day.

People have come down in droves every single day.  And this is by far the largest.  I would say maybe 3,000 people are here tonight.  The mood is one of nationalism, the Turkish flags, a lot of saving the fatherland.

What is very interesting is that Erdogan sent messages, text messages to his people, to the citizens of Turkey today, saying, please come down to the streets, as he has every day, to save the fatherland, to save democracy.  And out they have come.

Public transportation has been free every day.  Indeed, I took the ferry and I took a tram today, paid no money, and that is to encourage people to come down into the streets.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Tell me about the impact.  Is there an impact that you can feel, though, the people that you talk to can feel about all these detentions and firings?

MARCIA BIGGS:  The crackdown over the last couple of days has been brutal, as you mentioned, 30,000 suspensions of various ministries, police and education.

That's the people who work in the prime minister's office, judges, prosecutors, 15,000, as you mentioned, members of the Education Ministry; 1,500 deans were asked to resign, and that's in addition to the 1,000 civilians that were arrested and the 6,000 soldiers that were arrested.

That's 50,000 people in this country that have been affected by this crackdown, whether it's being fired, whether it's being asked to resign, whether it's being detained.  It's incredible.

"What will Turkey look like under a state of emergency?" PBS NewsHour 7/21/2016


SUMMARY:  The failed coup attempt in Turkey has won that nation’s president extraordinary power, in a three-month state of emergency, to impose laws by fiat.  Critics fear he will chip away at Turkey's secular constitution.  Hari Sreenivasan talks with special correspondent Marcia Biggs; and Federica Mogherini, a High Representative/Vice President of the European Union.

No comments: