Turkey arrests 42,000 since failed coup attempt

Students protesting crackdown being arrested by police.

According to figures provided by Turkey’s Justice Ministry, at least 42,000 have been arrested since July’s failed coup attempt.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry provided information from the ‘FETO’ investigation, which alleges that US based cleric Fethullah Gulen’s ‘Hizmet Movement’ was behind the attempted coup, to the Parliamentary Commission for the Investigation of the 15 July Coup Attempt.

As of 4 January 105,532 have been investigated as potential suspects involved in the coup attempt. 42,083 of these people have been arrested.

A similar number of people, 44,800, have been purged from their positions during the same period with decree law 671.

A recent report by the EU’s intelligence agency Intcen, has said the coup attempt was hastily organised by military generals fearing a crackdown by President Tayyip Erdogan.

The August 2016 report, which was seen by the UK Times claimed, “The decision to launch the coup resulted from the fears of an incoming purge. The coup was just a catalyst for the crackdown prepared in advance.”

The report also says that it was unlikely Fethullah Gulen himself had played a role in the coup. “It is likely that a group of officers comprising Gulenists, Kemalists, opponents of the AKP, and opportunists was behind the coup. It is unlikely that Gulen himself played a role,” the report said.

The purge and crackdown has also spread to include Kurdish circles. 12 Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies, including the party’s co-leaders were arrested. Dozens of Kurdish mayors were also jailed pending trial and replaced by state-appointed trustees.

Turkish authorities have called the crackdown a “war on terror” and “defence of national interests.”