“The decrees have the force of law and can’t be appealed.”
As Mary noted when she wrote about Erdogan’s issuance of a three-month state of emergency, the purges have indeed continued and dramatically expanded beyond their initial scope: “What began as an effort to root out members of the military and security forces directly involved in the July 15 coup attempt has been extended to eliminate the Gulen movement’s influence from education, academia and the civil service.”
Reports are emerging that Turkey has moved forward with its plans to “purge” all purportedly Gulen-linked institutions and organizations.
The Turkish government’s decision to shut down and seize the assets of organizations linked to the alleged mastermind of last week’s failed coup has come into force, and ministers continued to reassure foreign leaders and investors that the country isn’t backsliding on democracy and economic reforms.
The decree, published in the Official Gazette, closes schools, hospitals, foundations, associations, unions and confederations linked to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. Under the three-month state of emergency approved July 21, the decrees have the force of law and can’t be appealed.
The purge of supposed Gulen supporters has ensnared more than 53,000 people, who have either been removed from their jobs or suspended, with a further 10,000 people detained. What began as an effort to root out members of the military and security forces directly involved in the July 15 coup attempt has been extended to eliminate the Gulen movement’s influence from education, academia and the civil service.
The result of this sweeping “purge” has Turkish ministers taking to social media to reassure citizens.
That has brought calls for restraint from Turkey’s allies and rattled financial markets concerned about the effect of political instability on Turkey’s economy.
Turkish ministers have taken to media, Twitter and conference calls with investors to insist the state of emergency is aimed solely at those associated with the coup, that life for ordinary people won’t be affected and that economic reforms will continue. Ahaber television reported Saturday that about 1,200 soldiers arrested after the coup have been released.
“I want to say that despite what has happened a week ago in Turkey, that we will continue to strongly adhere to democratic principles and apply the rule of law,” Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said at a G-20 finance ministers meeting in Chengdu, China. “Not much really has changed; I know there are question marks.”
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew met Simsek at the G-20 and said in a statement afterward that the U.S. supports Turkey’s elected government. He encouraged it to “pursue the investigation into the coup in a way that reinforces public confidence in democratic institutions and promotes economic stability.”
Turkey shuts down 15 universities, 934 schools, 104 foundations, 109 dormitories, 35 hospitals, 1,125 associations, 19 unions today.
— Mahir Zeynalov (@MahirZeynalov) July 23, 2016
And so the question for many in Turkey becomes:
— Louis Fishman لوي فيشمان לואי פישמן (@Istanbultelaviv) July 23, 2016
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