Dear Commons Community,
Post-coup purges in Turkey continue. The Turkish government said yesterday that it was preparing to take over at least 28 municipal administrations nationwide, ousting elected mayors as part of an intensified crackdown against Kurdish insurgents. As reported in the New York Times:
The government is accusing the mayors of supporting and funding militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K., an outlawed group that has been engaged in a violent autonomy struggle for more than 40 years.
“The administration of 28 municipalities will no longer be in the hands of terrorists,” Suleyman Soylu, the interior minister, said in a televised speech.
The announcement came a day after the government dismissed more than 11,000 teachers suspected of activities in support of the P.K.K. and affiliated organizations, the semiofficial Anadolu Agency reported.
The government’s actions were carried out under powers granted by a state of emergency after the failed military coup on July 15 aimed at toppling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Since then, the government has conducted a widespread purge of those suspected of having links to Mr. Erdogan’s former ally, Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania who is accused of masterminding the coup attempt. Mr. Gulen has repeatedly denied involvement.
More than 40,000 people have been arrested or detained since the night of the failed coup, and tens of thousands of people have been purged from the judiciary, military and security forces, as well as a range of professions.”
This is a sad situation for a country that has such a rich history and has been the connection between Western and Middle Eastern cultures.