A crackdown on the military and the judiciary in the wake of a failed coup attempt has led to the detention of thousands of soldiers and judges and prosecutors, including commanders and top court members.
Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ on July 17 said around 6,000 suspects, including at least 2,839 soldiers and thousands of judiciary members, have been detained as part of a wide-scale operation launched following the deadly coup attempt initiated by a group of soldiers late on July 15.
“There are currently around 6,000 detentions. It will surpass 6,000. The legal process on these will continue,” said Bozdağ.
Suspects are being charged with “membership of an armed terrorist organization” and “attempting to overthrow the government of the Turkish Republic using force and violence or attempting to completely or partially hinder its function.”
The terrorist organization is allegedly led by the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, a friend turned foe of the Turkish government.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that the country considers itself at war with any nation that stands by the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen.
He said: “Any country that protects Fethullah Gülen will be an enemy to Turkey.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has vowed that the government will discuss with the opposition reintroducing the death penalty in Turkey, following the failed military coup attempt of July 15.
“Our government will discuss [the death penalty] with the opposition. My brothers, we know and hear your demand both as the government and the state,” Erdoğan said, addressing a crowd gathered in front of his residence in the Kısıklı neighborhood of Istanbul on July 17.
Speaking earlier on private broadcaster CNN Türk, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş had also suggested that politics could “not remain insensitive to social sensitivities,” adding that there was a “shared demand” on the issue of the death penalty following the failed coup.
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