Saturday, July 23, 2016

Erdogan still rolling along

Turkey's Erdogan shuts schools, charities in first state of emergency decree

President Tayyip Erdogan tightened his grip on Turkey on Saturday, ordering the closure of thousands of private schools, charities and other institutions in his first decree since imposing a state of emergency after the failed military coup.

A restructuring of Turkey's once untouchable military also drew closer, with a planned meeting between Erdogan and the already purged top brass brought forward by several days.

. . . .

Critics of Erdogan fear he is using the abortive coup to wage an indiscriminate crackdown on dissent. 

The foundations targeted include, for example, the Association of Judges and Prosecutors (YARSAV), a secular group that criticised a recent judicial law drafted by Erdogan's Islamist-rooted AK Party.

In his decree, published by the Anadolu state news agency, Erdogan also extended to a maximum of 30 days from four days the period in which some suspects can be detained. 

It said this would facilitate a full investigation into the coup attempt.

. . . .

Erdogan, a popular but polarising figure who has dominated Turkish politics since 2003, declared the state of emergency late on Wednesday, saying it would enable authorities to swiftly and effectively root out supporters of the coup.

The emergency allows Erdogan and the AK Party government, who are mildly Islamist, to pass laws without first having to win parliamentary support and also to curb or suspend rights and freedoms as they deem necessary.

Turkey seizes over 2,250 institutions in post-coup crackdown

Turkey attempted coup: EU says measures 'unacceptable'

The European Union says Turkey's measures against the education system, the judiciary and the media following the failed coup are "unacceptable".

In a statement, High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn said they were "concerned" by Turkey's decision to declare a state of emergency.

The move gives Turkey's leaders "far-reaching powers to govern by decree".

Thousands of people have been sacked or arrested following the failed coup.

The two senior EU officials urged President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to respect the rule of law, rights and freedoms.

And they also warned Turkey over its decision to suspend the European Convention on Human Rights, saying it must stick to the conditions by which a suspension is permitted.

If this does not convince them that Turkey, which is not in Europe, does not belong in the EU, it's hard to see what would.

Turkey's worrying slide into tyranny

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