Authorities have arrested over 60,000 people
Turkey continues to purge people after a failed coup two weeks ago. Authorities said ambassadors are next while Amnesty International reported authorities have raped and tortured the detainees already behind bars.
Turkey blames the Gülen Movement and have said everyone purged has connections to the group. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said they are no concentrating on his department:
“Some personnel in the ministry had been given answered questions… and some personnel were placed in key positions in the ministry,” he told broadcaster France 24.
Çavuşoğlu said the ambassadors who could be suspended had been recalled from their posts but that more junior staff still overseas could also be removed.
“They [have not been] assigned for any mission so far,” he said. “We have recalled them. But low-level civil servants who are on an international duty right now [will be suspended],” he said.
Amnesty International also claims they received evidence that Turkish authorities have beaten, tortured, and raped detainees held after the failed coup. They demand Turkey give independent monitors “access to detainees in all facilities.” They reported:
A person on duty at the Ankara Police Headquarters sports hall saw a detainee with severe wounds consistent with having been beaten, including a large swelling on his head. The detainee could not stand up or focus his eyes and he eventually lost consciousness. While in some cases detainees were afforded limited medical assistance, police refused to allow this detainee essential medical treatment despite his severe injuries. The interviewee heard one police doctor on duty say: “Let him die. We will say he came to us dead.”
The same interviewee said 650-800 male soldiers were being held in the Ankara police headquarters sports hall. At least 300 of the detainees showed signs of having been beaten. Some detainees had visible bruises, cuts, or broken bones. Around 40 were so badly injured they could not walk. Two were unable to stand. One woman who was also detained in a separate facility there had bruising on her face and torso.
The Turkish officials have also denied the detainees access to lawyers, family, and friends. Most of them have not even told family members what has happened to them. Lawyers also did not see their clients until right before their court date:
One lawyer told Amnesty International that when she finally saw her clients, “[They] gave me the contact information [for their families] so I could call them. The families knew nothing. They were happy to hear their sons were alive.”
The entire Western world has shown support for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the elected government of Turkey. However, the purges and human rights violations have caused many to raise their eyebrows.
Secretary of State John Kerry warned Turkey these purges could harm their NATO membership:
“A lot of people have been arrested and arrested very quickly,” Kerry told journalists. “The level of vigilance and scrutiny is going to be very significant in the days ahead.”
He noted that NATO, which Turkey has been a member of since 1952, “has a requirement with respect to democracy, and NATO will indeed measure very carefully what is happening.”
“We will certainly support bringing the perpetrators of the coup to justice but we also caution against a reach that goes beyond that and stress the importance of the democratic rule being upheld,” Kerry said.
Turkey has also tried to enter the European Union, but those officials have now halted the process:
Jean-Claude Juncker, EU Commission president, questioned Ankara’s long-standing aspiration to join the bloc. “I believe that Turkey, in its current state, is not in a position to become a member any time soon and not even over a longer period,” he said.
Mr Cavusoglu responded by warning that the EU “can’t threaten Turkey.” “We’re protecting European values,” he said. “EU officials often say what they think, but when it turns into a threat, it becomes counter-productive.”
EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn even said he believes the president made his purge list before the coup:
“It looks at least as if something has been prepared. The lists are available, which indicates it was prepared and to be used at a certain stage,” Hahn said.
“I’m very concerned. It is exactly what we feared.”
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