Since the failed coup in August 2016, the government says, it has purged more than 107,000 government employees for alleged links to the coup attempt. Worse, according to a Supreme Court justice, the Turkish government is investigating a total of 6.9 million citizens, or about 8.6% of all Turks.
- Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has warned international companies drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus that these hydrocarbons are within Turkey’s continental shelf. Cavusoglu said that Turkey “is prepared to take all necessary measures” to protect its rights, and those of the Turkish Cypriots, in the eastern Mediterranean.
- On January 26, several thousand Turkish Cypriots marched against what they say is Turkey’s unwanted influence. Protesters braved pounding rain to voice their opposition to Turkey’s agitation of “fascist and extremist” segments of their society.
- Erdogan’s Turkey apparently has an ideological incompatibility with the word “peace.” This outright bullying can target any nation at any time. Optimists who think it might fade away will be proven wrong once again.
In official language, Turkey is in a state of emergency ever since a failed putsch, allegedly masterminded by a self-exiled cleric, killed nearly 250 people on the evening of July 15, 2016. Since then, the government says, it has purged more than 107,000 government employees for alleged links to the coup attempt. Worse, according to a Supreme Court justice, the Turkish government is investigating a total of 6.9 million citizens, or about 8.6% of all Turks.
Even “not-warmongering” can be associated with being a terrorist. More than 300 activists were arrested for their opposition to Turkey’s military incursion into northern Syria. That number did not include the 11 doctors who are members of the Turkish Medical Association who were arrested for calling for a halt to the offensive. (They were later released but will stand trial). In addition, Turkey has asked Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to remove posts on the military offensive.
Outside its borders, hardly a day passes without confrontation, clashes or tensions. Turkey says it had “neutralized” nearly 1,000 Kurdish militiamen since Operation Olive Branch in Syria took off on January 20. But not all of Turkey’s wars involve artillery, bombings and casualties.
On Jan. 26, for instance, hundreds of Kurds living in Beirut gathered in front of the Turkish embassy in order to protest Operation Olive Branch. France’s foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian has told Ankara not to worsen the situation in Syria. He also, while condemning civilian casualties, called Turkey’s military operation in Afrin (in northern Syria) a violation of international law. A week before that, thousands rallied in Paris to protest the Turkish operation.