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7/17/16

Turkey - Erdogan tightens grip on the country as arrests now hit 6,000 which Erdogan calls "rooting out the virus"

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A "coup" which formalized Erdogan's dictatorship
Turkey has arrested 6,000 people after a failed coup, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowing to purge state bodies of the "virus" that caused the revolt. 

At a funeral for one of the 290 victims, Mr Erdogan repeated an accusation that US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind the plot.

Mr Gulen strongly denies any involvement.

High-ranking military officers are among those held.

One of Mr Erdogan's top military aides, Colonel Ali Yazici, is among those now in custody, Turkish media reported.

The death toll rose on Sunday to more than 290, a foreign ministry statement said. More than 100 of those killed were involved in the coup, officials said.

"We will continue to cleanse the virus from all state institutions, because this virus has spread. Unfortunately like a cancer, this virus has enveloped the state," Mr Erdogan told mourners at the Fatih mosque in Istanbul.

He had earlier suggested parliament might consider a proposal to restore the death penalty.

Tens of thousands of Turks partied into the small hours of Sunday on the main squares of key cities to celebrate the failure of the coup.

A military coup is always to be condemned, but so is a total disregard for Democracy and violations of Human Rights.

Erdogan must be condemned for releasing a "mob" of his AKP people into the streets to commit acts of violence and vandalism in order to quell a dubious  coup attempt, while during the Taksim demonstrations he used  maximum security measures to disperse pro-democracy demonstrators.

Say no to Erdogan's human rights violations
Unfortunately, no official condemnation of Erdogan's Human Rights violations in his dealing with this so-called "coup" have been heard from either the EU or the US.  

Some additional facts about Erdogan's Turkey
  • Between August 2014 and March 2015, 236 people investigated for "insulting the head of state"; 105 indicted; eight formally arrested
  • Between July and December 2014 (Recep Tayyip Erdogan's presidency), Turkey filed 477 requests to Twitter for removal of content, over five times more than any other country and an increase of 156% on the first half of the year
  • Reporters Without Borders places Turkey 149th of 180 countries in the press freedom index
  • During Mr Erdogan's time in office (Prime Minister 2003-14, President from 2014), 63 journalists have been sentenced to a total of 32 years in prison, with collective fines of $128,000
  • Article 299 of the Turkish penal code states that anybody who insults the president of the republic can face a prison term of up to four years. This sentence can be increased by a sixth if committed publicly; and a third if committed by press or media
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