Turkey has reportedly banned Islamic funerals for coup supporters and have warned Imams not to carry out any Islamic funeral ceremonies. The state directly employees the countries 75,000 Imams. The decision to deprive coup supporters is being called a religiously-charged political statement, implying that those who supported the coup are not true Muslims.
Approximatley 50,000 individuals have been targeted in a massive “purge” of coup supporters in response to the failed movement. Thousands of individuals with careers ranging from education to police to military and political establishments have been arrested or have been suspended from their duties. Turkey’s Education Ministry revealed to Reuters that the country has revoked the licenses of over 21,000 teachers working in private institutions for their perceived support of the coup. The BBC reported on the incident, stating:
“More than 50,000 state employees have been rounded up, sacked or suspended in the days since the coup attempt,”
Hundreds of lives were lost in the Turkish coup. 20 coup supporters were killed during the attack and at least 145 civilians perished in the ensuing chaos.
Many Western analysts believe that Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is seizing the opportunity to purge the civil service of any political of ideological opponents that could cause dissent in the future. Some have gone as far as accusing the Turkish government of staging the coup specifically to create an excuse to thin the ranks of the civil service. It has been reported that some of the people to be stripped of their job titles where not tied to the coup at all.
Erodgan’s comments following the coup have stoked the flames of these theories. He called the coup a “gift from Allah.” So far Erodgan has gutted the leadership of national security forces, detained a third of top ranking military brass, suspended 8,777 interior ministry personnel and police, revoked the licenses of 24 radio and television companies, forced the resignations of 1,577 university deans and closed 600 state schools. Erodgan is making no attempt to disguise his intentions he stated in the days following the coup:
“All the viruses within the armed forces must be cleansed,”
Despite his predatory tactics and the overall reduction of civil rights in the country his popularity has never been higher. Many analysts are perplexed by the surge in popularity. They have attributed it to the belief that the people of Turkey see his actions as justified following the violent coup.