More than a month after the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey, the crackdown on suspected members of the Gulen community, the accused culprits of the putsch, is continuing and expanding. As of Aug. 18, about 12,000 people have been jailed pending trial, including prominent businessmen, academics, journalists and soldiers; 10,000 people remain in custody for questioning and 85,000 public servants have been either suspended or dismissed. To make room in the prisons, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government issued a legislative decree last week, paving the way for the release of at least 38,000 prisoners, including convicted thieves.
So where will all this end and what is the criteria in the detentions? The government’s answer is highly controversial as it outlines criteria aimed openly at shielding the AKP, which had enjoyed a decadelong alliance with the Gulen community and showered it with favors. It was only after the two fell out that the government branded the community the Fethullah Gulen Terror Organization (FETO).