Erdogan Hits Back Hard After Failed Coup

17 July 2016 – By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hit back hard at his perceived political, military, and judicial enemies, following the failure of a coup attempt on Saturday.Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced the arrest of 2,839 military personnel. At least 14 generals were detained, including two from the 2nd Army, one from the 3rd Army, eight from the Air Force, and a former Chief of Air Staff.

A “security source” said that 52 senior army officers were arrested in Denizli Province in western Turkey early Sunday.

Those under arrest included Major General Kamil Özhan Özbakır, commander of the Denizli garrison and the 11th Commando Brigade, the source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The High Council of Judges and Prosectors dismissed 2,745 judges and five of its own board members. Warrants were issued for the arrest of 140 members of the Supreme Court and 48 of the Council of State, as well as two of the 17 judges on the Constitutional Court.

Meanwhile, Erdoğan pressed the US to extradite his main political enemy, cleric Fethullah Gülen. In a televised speech, he addressed Barack Obama:

Mr President, I told you myself, either deport or hand over to us this person who lives in 400 acres of land in Pennsylvania. I told you that he was engaged in coup plots but I was not listened to. Now again today after the coup I say it again.

Gülen was an ally as Erdoğan rose to power as Prime Minister, but the two men fell out, culminating in a split amid corruption allegations against the Government in 2013.

Erdoğan has accused Gülen of creating a parallel movement within a “deep state” — infiltrating the military, security services, and the judiciary — in an attempt to overthrow the Government.

US Secretary of State John Kerry responded to Erdoğan, “We fully anticipate that there will be questions raised about Mr Gülen,” he said. “And obviously we would invite the government of Turkey…to present us with any legitimate evidence.”

Gülen issued a statement on Saturday denying any involvement in the coup. He followed later in the day with a rare interview:

I don’t believe that the world believes the accusations made by President Erdoğan. There is a possibility that it could be a staged coup and it could be meant for further accusations.