Upwards of 50,000 are now in Erdogan’s line of sight in his latest purge of allies of exiled cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who remains in the United States. Turkey Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said of Gulen’s followers in Turkey,
“This parallel terrorist organization will no longer be an effective pawn for any country. We will dig them up by their roots.”
His statement comes as Erdogan prepares a formal request for the United States to extradite Gulen, who is accused of being the architect of the failed coup attempt, which prompted U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, to ask the Turkish foreign minister to provide hard evidence of Gulen’s role in the failed coup attempt because mere allegations against the exiled cleric were not enough to warrant an extradition order. Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said,
“We have more than enough evidence, more than you could ask for, on Gulen. There is no need to prove the coup attempt, all evidence shows that the coup attempt was organised on his will and orders.”
Two members of Turkey’s constitutional court were arrested Wednesday as purges in the judiciary, military, civil service and education widen in the aftermath of a failed coup. The two constitutional court members were among a group of 113 officials from the judiciary formally arrested on Wednesday and formal charges were also brought against Erdogan’s chief aide-de-camp. As the purge continues to grow, the death penalty has come up once again in Turkey with Erdogan pushing parliament to institute it once again in light of this recent coup attempt (the death penalty in Turkey was halted in 2004 as Turkey sought to become a member of the European union).
Whilst the number continues to climb regarding the purge, Ankara has ordered the blocking of Wikileaks and its publication of 300,000 AKP (Erdogan’s political party) emails. Obtained before the attempted coup, the date of their publication was brought forward “in response to the government’s post-coup purges” WikiLeaks said on its website.
What do you think will happen if Erdogan is successful in his purging of these alleged co-conspirators? Sound off in the comments below.