Turkish President Recep Erdogan has told Western leaders critical of his response to the attempted military coup to mind their own business as he cancels 50,000 passports and considers mass executions of rebels. Erdogan goes so far as to accuse the United States of supporting the military coup and says that if they don’t support democracy in Turkey, they are “not our friends.”
The Daily Mail reports that in the wake of Erdogan’s crackdown in Turkey over the botched military coup, numerous western leaders have criticized the firing of some 60,000 people from the public sector (mostly in the education field) and the removal of 40 percent of that nation’s generals and admirals. Critics say they are concerned that Erdogan is trying to “consolidate his control” and that the military purge is hurting efforts in Syria to defeat ISIS as generals working closely with the United States have been removed. Director of U.S. National Intelligence James Clapper is one such critic noting that Turkish officers who have worked to battle the Islamic State alongside the U.S. military are being swept away.
Erdogan to West: ‘Mind your own business’ https://t.co/ZankukL893
— Ludwig (@ludwighenze) July 30, 2016
However, Erdogan says the critics are “shameful” and that they are not true supporters of democracy. He says U.S. leaders criticizing his military restructuring have no place to talk and that it is not their decision to make.
“It’s not up to you to make that decision. Who are you? Know your place.”
In fact, Erdogan goes so far as to repudiate the claims made by Westerners by accusing the United States of “taking the side of the coupers.”
“Instead of thanking this country which repelled a coup attempt, you take the side of the coup plotters. The putschist is in your country already.”
In a national address given from the presidential palace in Ankara, Erdogan spoke directly to his supporters noting that the “attitudes of many countries” regarding the coup are “shameful” and that anyone not supporting democracy in Turkey is “not our friends.”
‘Not Our Friends’: Erdogan Stokes Anti-US, Anti-NATO Fervor in Turkey https://t.co/BvLXaZPy5K
— Digital Resistance (@dgtlresistance) July 30, 2016
He notes that those harshly criticizing his response to the coup are not taking into consideration the 237 people who died as a result of the attempt or the 2,100 injured. He also noted that he could have died in the attack as coup leaders attempted to take out the nation’s leadership. Erdogan says the response of dishonorably discharging 1,700 members of the military, replacing 40 percent of the military generals and admirals, the canceling of 50,000 passports, and the firing of 60,000 plus people was necessary given the nature of the coup.
Erdogan has gone so far as to say he will not rule out the idea of executing key leaders in the coup attempt and that Western leaders should butt out when it comes to Turkey’s handling of the post-coup nation. CNN reports that those who participating in the coup were guilty of the “clear crime of treason” which may be punishable by death. Erdogan says that the people in the nation of Turkey realize that these individuals are “terrorists” and wants them put to death.
“The people now have the idea, after so many terrorist incidents, that these terrorists should be killed, that’s where they are, they don’t see any other outcome to it.”
Therefore, Erdogan says execution is still on the table for those who participated in the coup as he doesn’t think that the Turkish people want to pay to feed and house these criminals.
“Why should I keep them and feed them in prisons, for years to come? That’s what the people say. They want a swift end to it, because people lost relatives, lost neighbors, lost children… they’re suffering, so the people are very sensitive and we have to act very sensibly and sensitively.”
— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) July 30, 2016
What do you think of Erdogan’s remarks following the failed military coup?
[Photo by Kayhan Ozer Presidential Press Service/AP Images]