Last Friday, members of the Turkish military attempted to overthrow the democratically elected administration of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Soldiers blocked off the Bosphorus Bridge, high ranking Turkish generals were held hostage and media outlets as well as social media experienced forced outages.
Hours after uniformed soldiers took over the streets, a faction of the military released the statement “the political administration that has lost all legitimacy has been forced to withdraw.” As Erdogan was vacationing in Marmaris, members of the military took to the streets of Ankara and Istanbul with tanks.
Within hours of the statement being released, Turkish National Intelligence announced that the coup was over. By the end of the night, 290 were killed with over 1400 injured. As expected, Erdogan and his administration swiftly responded with talks of reviving the death penalty. Erdogan has vowed to go after those who were behind the coup and those who are perceived to have been involved. He plans to show no mercy. The coup was denounced by every major political party.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim warned of consequences on Twitter, saying that “every single drop of blood shed will be accounted for in such a harsh way.”
Erdogan attended a funeral for those who were killed during the coup, including a relative of his chief adviser and said “It is not anything ordinary that my young brothers lay under tank pellets; this is a manifest of faith.” It was at this funeral that Erdogan hinted he has not ruled out bringing back the death penalty to punish the perpetrators of the coup.
As the crowd at the funeral chanted “we want the death penalty,” he responded, “we can’t ignore the people’s request in a democracy — this is your right.”
“This right has to be evaluated by the appropriate authorities according to the constitution and a decision can be made,” Erdogan continued. The address was broadcasted live on television.
On early Monday morning, a photograph was released by the Turkish government showing some of the detained forced to their knees in a horse stable and undressed to their waist in humiliation. Since the failed coup attempt, thousands of soldiers have been arrested and over a hundred members of the judiciary have been removed. According to the Turkish foreign ministry, approximately 6,000 people have been detained and that number is expected to increase.
Yildirim has vowed that “they will pay a heavy price.” To date, 8,777 officers have been sacked from the Ministry of Interior and 103 military generals and admirals have been relieved of their commands.