A military and judicial purge is underway in Turkey as a result of a failed coup against President Tayyip Erdogan who labels the coup attempt a “Gift from God”.
From the Telegraph Live Feed.
President Erdogan says military elements guilty of ‘treason’, as he tells nation government is in charge, after violent clashes in Ankara and Istanbul leave ‘161 dead’
Mr Erdogan accused the coup plotters of trying to kill him and launched a purge of the armed forces, which last used force to stage a successful coup more than 30 years ago.
“They will pay a heavy price for this,” said Mr Erdogan, who also saw off mass public protests against his rule three years ago. “This uprising is a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army.”
In the first signs of a crackdown, on Saturday morning the government announced 2,700 judges were suspended from duty.
Mr Yildirim told public television that while the death penalty is not permitted under the Turkish constitution, they will consider legal changes “to make sure this does not happen again.”
Factions within the military carried out the attempted coup. The leader is not yet known, but the prime minister said colonels were involved.
A lawyer for the Turkish government says “there are indications of direct involvement” in the coup attempt of a cleric who is living in exile in Pennsylvania.
Robert Amsterdam said in a statement Friday evening that he and his firm “have attempted repeatedly to warn the US government of the threat posed” by Fethullah Gulen and his movement.
He says that according to Turkish intelligence sources, “there are signs that Gulen is working closely with certain members of military leadership against the elected civilian government”.
The president of a group that promotes Gulen’s ideas denied the charges.
Guardian Live Feed
Let’s now take a look at the Guardian Live Feed.
Turkey detains top general and judge
Turkish authorities have detained one of the military’s top generals and a member of the nation’s highest court, according to Anadolu news and CNN Türk.
Reuters has background on the officials: “General Adem Huduti is the most senior officer to be apprehended so far following the attempted intervention that killed more than 160 people. … Alparslan Altan is a member of the country’s top court and the most senior judicial figure among scores of civilians detained so far.”
Turkish ministers returned to parliament, where at least one bomb had exploded on Friday night and where sections of the building lie in ruin.
Any country that stands by exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen will be considered an enemy of Turkey, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said in remarks reported by Reuters.
Yildirim and president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have accused Gulen, who lives at a remote compound in central Pennsylvania, of orchestrating the coup with a faction of the military. They have said that Gulen created a “parallel structure” within the courts, media and military.
Gulen has condemned “in the strongest terms the attempted military coup” and “categorically” denied any involvement. “Government should be won through a process of free and fair elections, not force,” he said in a statement.
Defiant Turks Stood up for Democracy – but Not Necessarily for Erdoğan
Activists and critical politicians have been quick to signal that joint resistance to the failed military takeover did not spell growing support for the ruling AK party (AKP) government.
Many have argued that the lack of popular support for the military plotters was one of the main reasons that the attempted coup failed but underlined that opposition to the intervention of the military did not translate to backing for the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Shortly after news of the uprising broke on Friday night, Turkey’s opposition parties issued statements condemning the military’s violent intervention and professing their support of the elected government. Social media sites, if throttled, were awash with people opposing the coup attempt, and despite a curfew declared by the military, tens of thousands took to the streets in Turkish cities.
“The resistance against the coup attempt last night was quite heterogenic,” said Erol Önderoglu, Turkey’s Reporters Without Borders representative who is currently on trial on terrorist propaganda charges after participating in a solidarity campaign with a pro-Kurdish newspaper. “The most valuable outcome of last night’s events is that many people who are not AKP supporters stood up for democratic values despite the recent crackdowns on the opposition, and despite the tension and the polarisation of the country.”
However, not everyone shared his optimism. “Everyone spoke out against the coup last night and that gave me hope,” said an academic who wished to remain anonymous. “But watching events unfold today this hope has shrunk quickly. Last night there was the possibility that the government would use this to return to a more unifying language, to return to the peace talks, to unite the country. But today it looks like they will use [the coup attempt] simply to consolidate power.”
Mike “Mish” Shedlock