Wednesday, July 20, 2016
The Turkish Coup Was Against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; The Purge is Against Fethullah Gulen
The coup failed. The purge is succeeding. Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, and Freedom of Religion are now dead in Turkey. A three month state of emergency has been declared. President Erdogan said “The virus will be cleansed from all braches of government.” Prime Minster Binali Yeldirin said “I’m sorry, but this parallel terrorist organization will no longer for an effective pawn for any country." He vowed to root out the organization. The total purged, cashiered, terminated, arrested, detained so far is about 60,000. So far 118 admirals and generals, 1/3 of Turkey’s general corps, have been detained, with 85 arrested to date. Among those detained are the President’s Chief Military Aide and his Air Force Advisor. If the coup were that widespread, it should have succeeded.6,038 members of the military have been detained, including the two pilots who shot down the Russian fighter plane a few months ago. If that many of the top brass were involved, the coup should have succeeded. Ironically, the police were one of the main resistors to the coup. The Ministry of the Interior announced 8,777 workers have been terminated, including 30 governors, 52 civil service inspectors, and 16 legal advisors. About 8,000 police officers have been fired and 1,000 arrested. 34 journalists had their press credentials revoked. Some will probably join their colleagues who have been imprisoned in recent years. The Finance Ministry terminated 1,500 employees. No evidence exists to support the premise that lower level finance employees would be involved in the coup. The Ministry of Education canned almost 22,000 to date. The teaching licenses of 21,000 private teachers have been revoked. It has closed 626 private schools and dormitories, presumably the private schools linked to the Hizmet movement. President Erdogan wants Turkey’s children to be raised in pious, Islamic schools. The High Education Board has called for the resignation of 1,577 university deans, at both private and public institutions. Six university presidents were axed. The Board has asked administrators to review the status of every professor. Even more ominous today is that the Board has barred all academicians from leaving Turkey and asked all academicians outside Turkey to return immediately. It’s also known that the President wants a revamp of the 300 existing universities. The President has to be wary of the universities. He knows the secular professional class of Istanbul opposed his administration. He vowed Tuesday night: “We will get into their dens …. We will find them all.” The Directorate of Religious Affairs sacked 492 staffers, including clerics, preachers, and religious teachers. It also forbad religious funerals for supporters of the the coup. The Prime Minister’s Office got in the act. It axed 257 workers. The Family and Social Policy Ministry dismissed 393. The licenses of 24 radio and television stations were pulled. 100 intelligence officers have also been suspended. The total purged exceeds 60,000 to date. 2,745 judges and prosecutors have been detained, including members of the Supreme Court. 80 judges have been arrested, including members of the Supreme Court. 1,481 judges were suspended. Many judges have been following the rule of law, sometimes blocking proposals of President Erdogan. No more! The Rule of Law is dead in Turkey. A new two-fold test for employment, promotion, and retention is now in place in Turkey: 1) Obsequence to Erdogan; and 2) Obsequence to strict Islam. This purge may have been occasioned by the failed coup, but the planning would have been in the works for some time. The only way to know who to arrest or fire outside the immediate participants is either to possess outstanding intelligence before the coup, or to have prepared lists in advance. The former is unlikely. Therefore President Erdogan was waiting for the right time to complete his program of firing all supporters of Fethullah Gulen and his Hismet philosophy. He has been slowly purging the police, military, prosecutors, and judges of supporters of Futhuallah. He is seizing the opportunity to accelerate the purge while he has the Turkish Street supporting him. If the purged are fortunate, all they will suffer is the loss of employment. If they are lucky! The President has bought time for himself, but he cannot defeat the strength of Hizmet or economic reality. Turkey has been a beacon of light in a dangerous part of the world: proof that a democracy and Islam can coexist. That’s no more. President Ergogan is showing how fragile a democracy can be; how the Rule of Law can become the rule of man, one man. The purge is of Turkey’s educated, secular class. Once begun the purge will necessarily extend to the private sector for the “parallel state” is too dangerous a concept for the quasi-paranoid President to ignore. President Erdogan can suppress in the short term Gulen and his Hizmet Movement, but the concept is sufficiently compelling to outlast one man. President Erdogan is on his way to becoming President for Life in a darkening Turkey.