Ankara obstructs investigation into July 15 botched coup: Opposition party
Turkey’s main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), has accused the Ankara government of blocking a thorough investigation into last year’s failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Bulent Tezcan, a CHP deputy chairman, told The Associated Press on Sunday that the government was using the commemorations for the anniversary of the botched putsch to “write a fabricated history.”
He added that inquiries into how supporters of US-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of having orchestrated the coup, had infiltrated into state institutions have been obstructed in a bid to hide the “political side” of the putsch, and to protect the incumbent government.
Tezcan stressed that “the facts need to come out for the sacred memory of the 250 martyrs” who died in the aftermath of the coup.
Earlier, CHP leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, had slammed the National Intelligence Agency (MIT) for “not giving sufficient information” regarding the failed coup attempt.
“I stated in the parliament’s General Assembly on July 16, 2016 that all aspects of the coup attempt should be brought to light, and truth should be exposed,” Kilicdaroglu said during a parliamentary session on Saturday with Erdogan in attendance.
“The details of these issues must be revealed to prevent Turkey from facing another coup attempt,” the prominent Turkish politician said, while also criticizing the parliamentary commission for “obstructing an investigation.”
Turkey urged to stand by democratic values
Meanwhile, European Commission chief, Jean-Claude Juncker, has called on Ankara government to uphold democratic values as the massive crackdown on suspected supporters of last year’s abortive coup continues in Turkey.
“Whoever wants to join the European Union is joining a union of values,” Juncker wrote in an op-ed for German weekly Bild Sonntag.
“Europe’s hand remains outstretched,” he added, noting that European countries expect that “Turkey too should clearly show its European colors and emphatically take basic European values to heart.”
Addressing thousands of people in Istanbul on Saturday, Erdogan vowed to sign a bill on reintroducing the death penalty in Turkey, adding, “We will chop off the heads of those traitors.”
Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004, and the European Union has warned that its reinstatement would constitute the end of Turkey’s accession bid.
Elsewhere in his article, Juncker also warned against the administrative detention of journalists, including Deniz Yucel of German daily Die Welt, arguing that this was “in no way compatible with a union of human rights, press freedom and the rule of law.”
Turkey witnessed a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, when a faction of the Turkish military declared that the government of Erdogan was no more in charge of the country.
A few hours later, however, the coup was suppressed. Almost 250 people were killed and nearly 2,200 others wounded in the abortive coup.
Turkey remains in a state of emergency since the coup, and Ankara has been engaged in suppressing the media and opposition groups, who were believed to have played a role in the failed putsch.
Over 40,000 people have been arrested and more than 120,000 others sacked or suspended from a wide range of professions, including soldiers, police, teachers, and public servants, over alleged links to the failed coup.
Many rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have denounced Ankara’s heavy clampdown.