Erdogan Justifies Mass Arrests After 2016 Coup Attempt
21:39 04.01.2018(updated 21:56 04.01.2018)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that the mass arrests that hit Turkey following the 2016 coup attempt were justified and could continue.
"Speaking about repressions you make a mistake. Today there is the state of emergency in France, isn't it? Why has France introduced it? Has there been an attempt of a coup? No there have been five, 10, 15, 20 terrorist attacks, but in Turkey, it was a coup attempt… We have sentenced just as many people as it is needed," Erdogan told the French LCI broadcaster.
The Turkish leader stated that the supporters of the coup had been in all the nation's governmental institutions and their number was "incredibly big."
"But this is not the end, there is still a big number of terrorist organizations' supporters in the government machine," the president said.
Coup Attempt in Turkey
The military coup attempt Erdogan spoke about took place in Turkey in July 2016 and was suppressed by government forces, with over 240 people killed and an estimated 2,000 wounded.
Following the unrest, Ankara has accused Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers, of playing a key role in the coup. Gulen and his supporters strongly deny having played any role in the attempted coup and call for an international investigation.
After the takeover attempt, Turkish authorities detained over 50,000 of journalists, diplomats, judges, members of the military and human rights activists over their alleged involvement in the thwarted coup and for their support for Gulen.
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