Not to compare Turkish President Recep Erdogan to Hitler, but he’s proceeding in remarkably similar ways: using the coup to arrest his opponents—not just the military, but judges as well—to call for reinstatement of the death penalty, and in general to take every chance to become a full-blown autocrat. Although I’m not convinced the coup was orchestrated by Erdogan himself, as some historians say the Reichstag fire was, it’s not beyond belief.
But speculation aside, the purge continues, and, along Hitlerian lines, Erdogan is now getting rid of academics. As the BBC reports, 15,000 “education staff” have been suspended, accused of complicity with the U.S. Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who of course was blamed for the coup.
So the toll mounts:
Turkey’s High Education board has also ordered the resignation of over 1,500 university deans, state media reported.
. . . Thousands of soldiers, police and officials have been detained or sacked since Friday’s coup attempt.
More than two dozen generals, including former air force chief Gen Akin Ozturk, have been remanded in custody pending the setting of trial dates. Gen Ozturk denies any involvement.
Meanwhile, the UN urged Turkey to uphold the rule of law and defend human rights in its response to the attempted coup.
In a statement, High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said the mass suspension or removal of judges was “cause for serious alarm”. He expressed “deep regret” at suggestions the death penalty could be reinstated.
What’s next? Here’s my prediction which is mine: persecution of non-Muslims, who make up about 2% of Turkey’s population, will begin in earnest.
h/t: Stephen Q. Muth