Monday, July 25, 2016

Turkish crackdown continues as Erdogan closes 2250 schools and charities - Rick Moran

by Rick Moran

Erdogan is living out a paranoid fantasy. Or, he has coldly calculated what he has to do to aggrandize power unto himself.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is continuing his assault on Turkey's institutions, as he has ordered the closure of 2250 schools and charities connected to the exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Erdogan has already fired 20,000 teachers and school administrators, as well as thousands of lawyers and other educated people from government.

The schools, hospitals, and social service organizations targeted by Erdogan are private institutions.

Associated Press:
In a new tactic against suspected coup plotters, Turkey on Saturday announced it had seized more than 2,250 social, educational or health care institutions and facilities that it claims pose a threat to national security.
The health ministry said patients at hospitals that are being seized will be transferred to state hospitals, highlighting the sweeping impact of the government's crackdown after a failed July 15 coup attempt.
A top Turkish official also accused some European countries of downplaying the grave danger posed by the failed insurrection, an apparent response to Western concerns about possible human rights violations in the government's crackdown.
"Some European colleagues think this is a Pokemon game, this coup attempt," said Omer Celik Turkey's minister for EU affairs. "Come here and see how serious this is. This is not something we play in a virtual game. This is happening in real time in Turkey."
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also sharply criticized concerns that the large-scale purges, which have left at least 10,000 people in jail and about 50,000 fired or suspended, could jeopardize basic freedoms. Erdogan told France 24 on Saturday that Turkey has no choice but to impose stringent security measures, after the attempted coup that killed about 290 people and was put down by loyalist forces and protesters.
"We are duty-bound to take these measures. Our Western friends fail to see it that way. I cannot understand why," Erdogan said. "I'm under the impression that they will only see that once all the political leaders of Turkey are killed, and then they'll start to dance for joy."
Turkey has imposed a three-month state of emergency and detained or dismissed tens of thousands of people in the military, the judiciary, the education system and other institutions. Turkish leaders allege that supporters of a U.S.-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, infiltrated state agencies and groomed loyalists in a vast network of private schools as part of an elaborate, long-term plan to take over the country.
Erdogan is living out a paranoid fantasy. Or, he has coldly calculated what he has to do to aggrandize power unto himself. Is he seriously suggesting that 50,000 people were plotting against him? If that were true, Turkey would possess the absolute worst internal security apparatus in the world. 

Instead of looking at ties to Gulen, perhaps we should start examining the political leanings of those in jail. I have a feeling we'd find a lot more political opponents of Erdogan than supporters of an exiled cleric.

Rick Moran


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