Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   23 January

Year later after military coup attempt Turkey still in deep crisis

YEREVAN, JULY 15, ARMENPRESS. A year has passed since the July 15 military coup attempt in Turkey. What united the entire Turkey during that night became the beginning of a process which led the country into a deep crisis.

Many people thought that the rare unity of Turkish citizens demonstrated against the July 15 military coup could become a beginning of a process within the frames of which the country, far away from democratic principles, again will move forward on the right path where everyone will respect each other regardless of ethnic and religious identity by appreciating the idea of a common homeland.

Nevertheless, these predictions were not justified. The ruling political force led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan started to serve the situation in the country for its interests. Erdogan carries out fierce fight against his opponents and oppositions.

He called US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen as the only guilty and organizer of the coup attempt and he holds talks for over a year with the US authorities aimed at extraditing Gulen to Turkey. Moreover, the coup attempt was followed by mass arrests and detentions, dismissals with the reason of having ties with Gulenists. More than 100 military officials, scholars, academicians, scientists and political figures are detained or arrested. 159 journalists are jailed, dozens of TV companies, newspapers and news agencies were closed. Hundreds of thousands of people were dismissed from their posts. In addition, 11 MPs of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party are detained since November 2016.

Only recently a group of human rights activists were detained in Turkey which became a reason for international human rights organizations to alarm over human rights violations happening in that country.

The emergency situation declared in Turkey from July 20, 2016, which has been extended for already three times and it is expected it will be extended for another three months from July 19, is an appropriate ground for Turkish authorities to call every opposition action as “terrorism” under which Erdogan and his supporters are able to silence any dissident element.

It’s not surprising that the ruling ‘Justice and Development’ party recently together with its partner ‘National movement’ party has initiated a package of bills which reaches the level of restriction on freedom of speech to a new degree in the country: according to the law those MPs who will use the “Armenian Genocide” or “Kurdistan” terms in the parliament will be penalized. The MPs who will violate the law will be removed from the sessions, and 1/3 of his/her salary (over 3000 USD) will be kept.

Summarizing one year of the military coup attempt in Turkey, we can confidently state that today the country is in deep crisis. The situation in Turkey, the polarizations among the public create a dangerous atmosphere where, regardless of Erdogan’s efforts to control the situation, new dangerous developments can emerge. The policy of Erdogan and his supporters leads the country far away from democratic values and principles strictly endangering Turkey’s prospect and future.

Araks Kasyan


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