Coup attempt in Turkey

This item appears on page 20 of the September 2016 issue.

Members of the Turkish armed forces made a coup attempt against the democratically elected ruling government on July 15, briefly holding parts of Istanbul, including two bridges over the Bosphorus Strait and Atatürk International Airport, as well as some government buildings in the capital, Ankara. By the next morning, most of the soldiers involved had surrendered. During the coup, at least 246 people were killed and more than 1,400 were injured.

After the coup attempt, more than 16,000 people were arrested as conspirators, including army officers, judges and educators. Also, tens of thousands of government, judicial and educational system employees were removed from their jobs. 

The Turkish government blamed exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen, currently living in the US, and members of the so-called “Gülen movement” for staging the coup. 

Turkey’s president, Recep Erdog˘an, declared a 3-month state of emergency, granting himself the power to enact law.