The Turkish government will be evaluating the restoration of the death penalty for those who made a coup attempt in Turkey last night. These words were pronounced by the vice president of the ruling party, AKP, Justice and Development, Mehmet Muezzinoglu. After his statement, the hashtag #damistiyorum (I want the death penalty) has become one of the leading trends on Twitter in Turkey and has been used over 23 thousand times. The last death penalty in Turkey dates back to 2004, also thanks to EU’s pressure in the negotiations for the accession process.
In Erdogan’s opinion, the mastermind behind the coup is his former ally, who was to become his number one enemy, the imam Fethullah Gulen, self-exiled to the United States. But the religious man, strongly condemned the action of the putschists in a statement and declared he has nothing to do with these events. “For someone like me who has suffered several military coups in the last five decades – Gulen said in a statement – it is particularly offensive to be accused of being connected to such an attempt.”
Meanwhile, General Umit Dundar – the acting head of the armed forces – announced the death toll following the scuffles that occurred last night. Over 190 dead: 41 police officers, 2 soldiers, 47 civilians and 104 people described as conspiracy theorists. Besides, 1,154 people were injured. The general said that the numbers were provisional and, unfortunately, destined to grow.
Turkish security forces arrested 1,563 military men and, according to a Turkish officer who asked to remain anonymous, they are mostly lower-ranking military men. Meanwhile, Erdogan began to purge the army: 5 generals and 29 colonels were relieved of duties. Besides, a new chief of staff was appointed: Dundar.