Deputy PM: Turkey’s Mass Detentions Just ‘the Tip of the Iceberg’

Purge Plan Long Predates Last Friday's Failed Coup

At least 60,000 state employees have been “purged” in Turkey in the week since last Friday’s failed military coup, and somewhere in the realm of 10,000 have been detained outright on suspicion of involvement. That number, according to Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli, is just the “tip of the iceberg.”

Canikli accused the Gulen movement of infiltrating every aspect of the government for the past 40 years. The ruling AKP may well be in a position to know that, since Gulen was a close ally for much of their history, and only split with the group in 2013.

Canikli warned that it wasn’t just the judiciary, courts, police, and military, but that everything had been targeted, saying the education field was the one they were most successful in. In the past week Turkey has fired every single university dean in the country, from public or private universities, and some 21,000 teachers.

He insisted only people “100% identified” had been targeted so far, and claimed the Gulen Movement, which again, was a close ally of the ruling party until just four years ago, is a greater threat than ISIS or the Kurdish PKK.

“They’ve been hyponotised. They’re like robots,” Canikli added, saying that a number of additional measures could be expected going forward, and claiming that any Gulen support was a potential suicide bomber.

Other reports suggested that Turkey’s main intelligence agencies have been aware of the possible coup for years, and have spent those years drawing up lists of a huge number of potential enemies to be “purged” when the time was opportune. This explains how Turkey was able to go from fending off a coup to rounding up tens of thousands in a matter of hours.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of