Turkey – President Erdogan announced Saturday more restrictive measures through the State of Emergency decree in response to the failed Coup d’état last 15 July, by ordering the closure of thousands of private schools and institutions that are believed to be linked to Gulen, presumptive orchestrator of the putsch.

The state of emergency decree may suspend freedoms and rights of the Turkish population in an attempt to reduce and control any subversive movement or critics against the Erdogan’s government which maintains restrictive – and undemocratic, as some deem- policies that have generated social discontent.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Credits: Umit Bektas / Reuters/RT

The state of emergency decree

President Tayyip Erdogan has ruled Turkey more than a decade; however, his administration was almost halted on 15 July when a coup d’état took the streets of Turkey. The attempt, profoundly criticized by the media and leaders all over the world, was controlled by the Turkish militia, though more than 240 people were killed. The army opened fire on civilians and compromised in street battles and air attacks.

In response to that destabilizing situation, President Erdogan decreed Wednesday the state of emergency in Turkey which allows the executive branch from the AK Party- a mildly Islamist party- to bypass the parliament, meaning they can take legislative and political measures without the support of the Turkish parliament.

Rebel soldiers will pay for the treason against Turkey

According to Anadolu Agency, the state-run press agency of Turkey, among the measures are the closure of more than 1000 of private schools, charity organizations and more than 1200 associations that are presumptively in connection to Fethullah Gulen, the US-based Muslim cleric accused of organizing the failed coup. This action includes 35 medical institutions and 12 universities in Turkey.

As well, given the coup more than 3000 soldiers have been arrested. Erdogan said that the soldiers who participated in the coup would “pay a heavy price for their treason.” A large amount of them has been released by now, while more than 100 generals and admirals remain in detention by the Ankara’s authorities along thousands of civilians and teachers. Erdogan, because of the threat to his administration and even his life, announced he would introduce a restructuration in the army.

Another measure that has been criticized by the US and the European Union, Turkey traditional allies, was the result of the extension to 30 days of the period in which suspects can be detained, proclaimed by Ankara. Regularly a person should not be held in reclusion more than four days if no charges have been declared.

The threat of Gulen

On Saturday it was reported that the Gulen’s nephew, Muhammed Sait Gulen, was apprehended in the city of Erzurum in Turkey, his uncle’s native region. Anadolu stated he was to be translated to Ankara for interrogation. He might be charged due to his membership and participation in terrorism and because of the threat, he represents to national security. He is the first reported detained from Gulen’s family.

Gulen and Erdogan were allies at the beginning of the Erdogan’s government. Later, Gulen became one of the leaders of the opposition. He was accused of organizing the coup d’état last 15 July, but as stated by Gulen, who is currently in the US territory seeking for political asylum, he was not linked to the failed attempt to overthrow the current government in Ankara.

Due to that, the US President, Barack Obama, asked for real proofs that show the participation of Gulen in the insurgent activities occurred last week, since Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, affirmed Turkey was in negotiations and expected to complete the Gulen’s extradition to open a trial in Turkey because of his subversive actions.

Erdogan goes strong as National freedoms are endangered

The failed coup d’état has been an opportunity for Erdogan to adopt oppressive measures in detriment of Turkish people’s welfare and rights. It is important to acknowledge that Turkey has been considered as one of the less friendly nations to develop freedom of speech and journalism. It was also reported that the government restricts the internet access freedom. More than 2000 people has been prosecuted because of their opinions against the Government.

Therefore, it is clear that the recently failed Turkish Coup didn’t emerge randomly, since it is a response to the restrictive and suppressive administration and because of the people’s demands to have real freedom. Although Turkey has been accepted as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) it was mainly a response from the organization to fight back the Soviet Union during the cold war period, not because there is an actual harmony between Turkish beliefs and views and those of the Western countries.

Therefore, it appears Erdogan will use the fear and the failed coup as an excuse to increase control and oppression in Turkey eliminating thus the opposition.

Source: BBC