After an attempted coup d'état in Turkey last week, tens of thousands of people came out in support of democracy. Meanwhile, prisoners of the attempted coup are allegedly beaten and raped.
After an attempted coup by the Turkish military last week, tens of thousands of Turkish citizens from both ruling and opposition parties rallied in support to condemn the coup attempt against President Erdogan.
Taksim Square was a sea of flags on Sunday in a unifying display of Turkish pride, boisterous voices carrying messages that were nationalistic and anti-dictatorial. News channels that usually favor the ruling party uncharacteristically broadcasted a live speech from the main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
“This is a day to unite, a day to stand up against coups and dictatorial regimes, a day to let the voice of the people be heard,” he stated. “We are all together in Taksim today. Today is a day we made history all together.”
This major display of public support in Turkey will work heavily in Erdogan’s favor, who will try to capitalize on the nationalism to regain full control over the country. It is also a good way for opposition leaders such as Kilicdaroglu to absolve themselves of guilt by publicly denouncing the coup and displaying their support for the democratic process.
POOR TREATMENT OF DETAINEES
Currently over 60,000 soldiers, police, judges, teachers, civil servants, and others have been detained or investigated in the past week. Over 13,000 people were taken into custody after the military coup attempt, 8,831 of them were soldiers.
Public supporters of democracy urge Erdogan to give all of the detainees a fair trial, and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has pledged to do so.
However, human rights groups such as Amnesty International believe they have received credible evidence that those who are being detained for the coup have been beaten, tortured and even raped in the past week.
“It is absolutely imperative that the Turkish authorities halt these abhorrent practices and allow international monitors to visit all these detainees in the places they are being held,”
said Amnesty’s Europe director, John Dalhuisen, in a statement.
According to reports, many of the detainees are being locked up in horses’ stables or sports halls and hog-tied in “horrific” positions. Amnesty International says they have tied prisoners in stress positions for up to 48 hours without access to food, water or medical treatment. Some prisoners have been subjected to “severe beatings and torture, including rape”.
One person being interviewed said he heard a police doctor on duty say,
“let him die, we will say he came to us dead”.
DEATH AND INJURIES FROM THE COUP
Turkey’s armed forces used tanks, helicopters and hostages in an attempt to overthrow President Erdogan. Clashes between civilians in support of the government and the armed forces in the coup resulted in the death of 250 civilians, and more than 1,500 were injured.
Former NATO commander General John F. Campbell, 59, was one of the top figures behind the coup attempt.
Allied countries have urged Erdogan to treat the prisoners fairly and allow the democratic process to deal judgement.
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