The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has refused to allow ads prepared by the US branch of the Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD) about a controversial military coup attempt in Turkey last July, on transit stops for being “too political.”
MÜSİAD US branch head Mustafa Tuncer described the move as an “embargo” on efforts to inform people about the coup attempt, saying that it will not deter them from telling about the struggle in Turkey to protect democracy.
Relations between the US and Turkey became strained when demonstrators protesting the policies of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was visiting Washington in May for a White House meeting with Donald Trump, were countered by agitated supporters of the Turkish head of state and subsequently attacked by the Turkish president’s bodyguards.
The violent confrontation sparked an outcry from members of the US Congress and the passage of a resolution demanding that the perpetrators be brought to justice.
Arrest warrants were issued for 12 members of Erdoğan’s security detail by District of Columbia Police Chief Peter Newsham on June 15.
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 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 participants of the Gülen movement in jails.
According to a statement from Turkey’s Justice Ministry on July 13, a total of 50,510 people have been arrested while 169,013 others have been the subject of legal proceedings since the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 on coup charges. (SCF with turkishminute.com) July 13, 2017