Turkey has detained more than 282,000, arrested 94,000 since 2016 failed coup

Kahramanmaraş 11 more detained as part of witch-hunt in Turkey

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said Wednesday, on the fourth anniversary of a failed military putsch, that a total of 282,790 people have been detained on coup-related charges, with 94,975 of them arrested, since the coup attempt, the Turkish Minute news website reported.

In a written statement, he also said 25,912 people among the arrestees were still in jail.

Turkey accuses the faith-based Gülen movement of orchestrating the failed 2016 coup, although it strongly denies any involvement. The Turkish government is the only state that designates the movement as a terrorist organization.

Since July 2016 a large-scale crackdown targeting the followers of the movement has been ongoing, with mass detentions conducted on an almost daily basis.

More than 130,000 public servants were expelled from government jobs and left to a kind of “civil death” since they were subjected to social and economic exclusion due to the stigma put on them by the government, according to a 2017 report drafted by Amnesty International.

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Wednesday that more than 20,000 military members have been purged since the failed coup.

Many observers believe Turkey has become a more authoritarian state since the abortive putsch, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has used it as a pretext to tighten his grip on power.

In a narrowly backed referendum in 2017, Turkey adopted an executive presidency that handed vast powers to Erdoğan while reducing the weight of the Turkish parliament in the political system.

The crackdown on the Gülen movement has reached other segments of Turkish society.

On the night of the coup attempt, 251 civilians were killed in clashes with soldiers.

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