‘Call for Transparency’ campaign launched for court proceedings of Turkey’s controversial coup bid

Photographs of people killed during a controversial military coup are exhibited in Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality building.

A “Call for Transparency” campaign has been kicked off by a group of intelectuals in change.org  for the court proceedings of the controversial coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016. People have been called to sign a petition targeting Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ and the Speaker of Turkish Parliament İsmail Kahraman on Saturday.

Stating that “We call on the Turkish government to be transparent and open in the court proceedings in relation to the coup attempt of July 2016,” the open petition said that “In the interest of restoring confidence in Turkey’s democracy, we request that the Turkish government make the necessary legal arrangements and broadcast the trials. It is important to enable the international community to monitor the court process and observe first-hand that defendants are being offered a fair trial and that the truth is emerging from the courts.”

“We further ask those who are serving in and those who have previously served in the Turkish Armed Forces, the National Intelligence Service and the police and security services to come forward and share with the public the truth and whatever they know of the coup attempt,” read the petition.

Underling that the primary victims of this coup attempt are Turkish citizens and Turkish democracy, the open petition has continued as follow: “The failed coup was one of the most dramatic attacks on Turkish democracy. On that night, 249 people lost their lives and almost a year on their murderers have still not been identified.

“Under the subsequent State of Emergency, decrees by President Erdoğan and the government, without any provision for legal appeal in place, have resulted in a mass purge directly affecting 150,000 people.

“Almost 50,000 people (overwhelmingly civilian citizens) are imprisoned on charges of terrorism, and this is having a devastating impact on hundreds of thousands of family members, particularly children.

“More than 241 journalists have been arrested, numerous media outlets have been shut down and many more journalists have had to flee the country.

“Because the leader of the main opposition party has said there are question marks about whether the coup attempt was manipulated by the government, and in order to prevent gross injustices, we urge the Turkish Parliament, political parties, local and international experts, research foundations to be more active in pursuing and revealing the facts.”

The petition has concluded that “It is vital for the truth to come to light and for the public to have confidence that those who have committed atrocities are brought to justice. Open and transparent court proceedings will enable public scrutiny and allow international observers to monitor the trials.”

A controversial military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

At least 161,751 people were detained or investigated and 50,334 people were arrested in Turkey in the framework of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, according to statistics reported by state-run Anadolu news agency by basing on information taken from the officials from Turkey’s Justice Minsitry on June 13.

June 17, 2017

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