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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Des milliers de magistrats en état d’arrestation

by Pierre Barbancey

Thousands of Judges under Arrest

Translated Wednesday 20 July 2016, by Henry Crapo

After the failed "coup d’état", the purge continues in the army and in the justiciary. 9000 civil servants have been fired. A European commissioner expresses his belief that "we at least have the impression that something had been prepared in advance".

It was Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s dream. With the coup aborted, he can realize it: almost 9 000 employees of the Turkish Ministry of the Interior, mostly police and gendarmes, have been dismissed. A provincial governor and 29 governors of municipalities have also been laid off, the agency adds. Some 6000 members of the military have also been placed in custody and nearly 3000 arrest warrants have been issued against judges and attorneys. Officially, this house-cleaning is aimed at people suspected of links with the exiled preacher in the United States, Fethullah Gülen, accused by the president Erdogan of plotting the coup attempt; Gülen categorically denies it. But in reality, he who is often called "the new sultan" has shifted into high gear toward what is his main goal: to strengthen presidential powers, to redraw the political-administrative map more to his liking, and to restore the death penalty. The Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) is opposed to this; they demand that the rule of law be protected.

The unpreparedness of the putschists and their amateurism

These are not merely speculations. Since the events that occurred on Friday night, many questions have arisen. And the attitude of power only serves to strengthen these concerns. One can also be amazed by the unpreparedness of the coup plotters, or, in any case, by the amateurism that led them not to follow the basic rules of the coup, including that of neutralizing the number 1 in the country. Instead, Recep Erdogan was able, via video-conferencing equipment, to contact the country and then to get on a plane from his resort town to reach Istanbul, where his supporters were waiting. The coup leaders did not seek to block the garrisons that were not in revolt, nor the areas where special forces were based. An attempted coup in haste, without much chance of success, therefore. At this stage, one can legitimately ask whether the domestic intelligence services, which remained loyal to the central government, simply let the coup proceed, in order to trigger the current "cleansing" operation in the administration and the army. Especially as, be it connected with Fethullah Gülen or not, in a very recent meeting of the military council, dissension had appeared among the staff.

"One has at least the impression that something had been prepared. The lists (for arrests - Ed) were ready, suggesting that they were prepared to serve at one time or or another. I am very concerned. This is exactly what we feared," said even the European Enlargement Commissioner, Johannes Hahn. An unusual tone that is found among many European leaders, starting with the French Foreign Minister, usually more discreet with regard to Turkey. "For the future (...) we want the rule of law to be fully functioning in Turkey; this is not a blank check to Mr. Erdogan," said the head of French diplomacy on France 3. The Europeans will remind him (...); in Brussels, we will talk about Turkey and insist that Turkey must also comply with European democratic standards. No purges; the rule of law must apply." Even more surprisingly, asked to say if Turkey remained a reliable ally in the fight against the jihadist organization, Jean-Marc Ayrault said: "There are questions that have been posed, and which we will pose. There is a some question of reliability, and some part of suspicion, I must say in sincerity. "

With these new developments, Recep Erdogan now wants to go right to the end, even engaging in a standoff with the United States on the extradition of Gülen, all the while calling for the mobilization of his supporters. For months, Erdogan has attacked all forms of dissent in the country. Journalists and press are prime targets, not to mention his violations of parliamentary law, aimed at members of the HDP.

We append a translation of a recent article by reporter Thierry Meyssan, as published in Al Watan.

Manipulation in Turkey

by Thierry Meyssan

President Erdoğan is a product of the Millî Görüş, an Islamist militia that supported the jihadists in Russia in the 90s and hatched a coup in 1999.

In 2003, Recep Tayyip Erdogan became prime minister of a member state of NATO.

In 2011, the Erdoğan government signed a secret treaty with France, involving it in the wars against Libya and Syria in exchange for the "right" to expel its Kurdish population into a state that would be created for the occasion.

In 2012, President Erdoğan took over Prince Bandar bin Sultan’s role as coordinator of jihadist networks.

In 2013, President Erdoğan took over the role of Emir Hamad of Qatar in sponsoring the Muslim Brotherhood. He then moved to Izmir the headquarters of Land Forces Command of NATO, the Landcom, which coordinates the war against Syria.

In 2014, the Erdoğan government participated in the transformation of the Islamic Emirate in Iraq by providing the 80,000 fighters of the Iraqi brotherhood Naqchbandis, the group that had created the Millî Görüş in Turkey.

Also, the attempt to overthrow the Erdogan government appeared to be the end of the war against Syria. Yet, it would simply disorganize the international coalition for the time necessary for the different functions of President Erdoğan to be re-assigned to other leaders.

The military involved in the July 16 events have been betrayed from within: no regime personalities have been arrested, neither Hakan Fidan, nor Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Those who took the premises of national television TRT made the fine announcement that they controlled the country, but none of the strategic objectives had been targeted. There have been many rumors, but no trace of a coup, save perhaps by those who attacked the empty buildings of the National Grand Assembly; traces of which attack now appear as a warning to the Deputies.

No leader of the coup has made contact with the opposition to join in forming a new regime, so that the latter, frightened at the idea of ​​the possible return of a military dictatorship, joined ranks with their enemy, the AKP.

Even before the end of the attempted coup, President’s Erdoğan’s men arrested the gendarmerie officers who had opposed him, but were in no way involved in the coup. By the time it was over, they not only had arrested the plotters of the coup, but also more than 7000 other people, sacked more than 8000 officials, suspended 2700 judges and the Vice President of the Constitutional Court. The lists of their names had long been waiting in the white Palace. The great purge of followers of Fethullah Gülen continues.

The United States seemed most surprised by this betrayal. After consulting the former president Abdullah Gül, then a magistrate, as possible successors of the president, they aided the Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) during the rigged elections of November 2015, and recently a magistrate. Clearly, they were informed in advance of the coup and were rejoicing. France, also aware, had closed its embassy and consulate on the evening of July 13.

Having now destroyed his opposition, President Erdoğan can continue unhindered to lead his country along the road of the Sultan Abdühamid II and of the Young Turks: ethnic cleansing.

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