C&B Notes

Turkey’s Post-Coup Crackdown

As this summer’s failed military coup in Turkey has faded from view (if in fact it was an actual coup), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s post-coup crackdown has intensified.  What began as a purge of military leaders, teachers, policemen, and judges continues to extend deeper into the government.  Erdogan’s ambitions will not stop there, it appears.

Turkey has arrested the two co-mayors of Diyarbakir, its largest Kurdish city, the highest ranking Kurdish leaders to be detained in a months-long crackdown designed to cripple the country’s Kurdish opposition.  Gultan Kisanak, one of the most prominent Kurdish politicians in the country, and her colleague, Firat Anli, were arrested late on Tuesday night on charges that they diverted public funds to support the activities of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK, which Turkey considers to be a terrorist organization. Commenting on the arrests, Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief and Johannes Hahn, the commissioner in charge of Turkey’s EU membership bid, said Ankara needed to act against the PKK “in full respect of the rule of law, due process and fundamental freedoms — all commitments Turkey has made as an [EU] candidate country”.  Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has used the emergency powers he has assumed since a failed putsch in July to continue a crackdown against Kurdish leaders.  Almost 10,000 Kurdish teachers have been sacked, 28 mayors removed from their jobs, academics who have called for peace have been sued and at least 20 Kurdish-language television channels, including one that broadcast mostly cartoons, have been shut down.

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