Shocking photographs showing Turkish soldiers lying nearly naked on the floor of a gymnasium with their wrists tied have appeared online after the Turkish president said he would ‘cleanse’ the country of the ‘virus’ responsible for the military coup.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arrested 6,000 people after the failed coup and has refused to rule out bringing back the death penalty, which has not been used in the country since 1984, the Independent reports.
And there are fears Erdoğan will react with brutality against those responsible.
— Frank Castle (@chukkietweets) July 18, 2016
At least 290 people died during the attempt to overthrow the president on Friday night, the BBC reports. More than 100 of those were participating in the coup.
But the sheer devastation left behind after this coup goes further than the death toll, leaving a country fractured and in civil unrest.
At a funeral for victims of the coup, the president repeated the accusation that Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind the coup.
Gulen, who is in exile in the U.S. and has strongly denied being involved, is often blamed by Erdoğan when unrest takes place as he is generally regarded as promoting a progressive form of Islam.
He has addressed Gulen directly, saying:
The betrayal you have shown to this nation and to this community, that’s enough. If you have the courage, come back to your country. If you can. You will not have the means to turn this country into a mess from where you are.
He added at the funeral: “We will continue to cleanse the virus from all state institutions, because this virus has spread. Unfortunately like a cancer, this virus has enveloped the state.”
But there are fears that President Erdoğan may take the coup attempt as a right to disregard international law and human rights when dealing with prisoners. European politicians have warned that should he not obey international law, he risks losing support, according to Reuters.
— Hannah Lucinda Smith (@hannahluci) July 16, 2016
The 6,000 people Erdoğan has detained includes 2,700 judges, leading to concerns that he will use the failed military action as a way to bypass the judicial process. Col Ali Yaziki, Mr Erdoğan’s primary military aide, is also among those detained.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has warned the soldiers ‘will pay a heavy price’ and urged civilians to remain on the streets to show support for the Erdoğan regime.
He said: “Another calamity has been thwarted. However, our duty is not over. We shall rapidly conduct the cleansing operation so that they cannot again show the audacity of coming against the will of the people.”
While the soldiers caused a devastating amount of damage during their coup, we hope international law be obeyed as those involved in the coup are prosecuted.