Turkey Widens Post-Coup Purge, Over 7,500 Detained

Justice Minister Confirms 'The Cleansing Is Continuing'

The official number of detained people in the wake of Friday’s failed coup in Turkey has now passed 7,500, with estimates that over 20,000 people have either been arrested or fired from their jobs on allegations they were in some way involved.

9,000 police were removed from duty, along with 30 governors and a third of the military’s generals and admirals. Though many expected Erdogan to use the failed coup as an excuse to “clean house,” many are surprised at just how far the government is going, which has led to international expressions of concern.

How much farther the purge is going to go remains uncertain, with Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag only saying “the cleansing is continuing,” and the police soliciting more anonymous tips of “terrorists” involved in the coup.

In the somewhat longer-term the continuation of the crackdown seems to be leading toward a return of the death penalty, with President Erdogan insisting that “the people on the streets” want to see those involved executed, insisting they don’t want to “keep them and feed them in prisons for years to come.

How broad the use of the death penalty will be is also a matter of speculation, though the mass detentions and the holding of large numbers of people stripped and bound in large common rooms surrounded by armed guards certainly doesn’t give the impression that the court system, or what is left of it after the purge, is going to be handling the matter in a traditional manner.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • John Wells

    “international concern” = NATO and the US

  • Don G.

    Jason Ditz, you seem to be a fairly talented writer but this site is going to destroy any credibility you have. If there is any site in the US that is credible on the antiwar message then I would suggest you try to get involved with one of them. This site has simply gone over the top with kooks and libertarian pie in the sky bullshit. Do it now and maybe you can cleanse your name in 5 or 10 years time.

    • Bob

      Our daily Hillary troll is back.

  • Job

    Fascinating how the return of the ‘death penalty’ gets a different reaction in European sources. They of course view it as barbaric, and a complete rejection of EU and NATO values. Its viewed as a show-stopper for the Turkish dreams of joining the EU. And part of a list calling into question as to whether Turkey should be in NATO.

    Here, where state-murder of individuals is now routine and is accepted by both corporate parties, it just gets a mention that he wants to bring it back, but like its really no different than raising the fine on speeding tickets.

  • dieter heymann

    There are reports that some of Turkey’s Black Sea fleet has not returned to its base and is “missing”. Is that correct?