Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s purge of officials in the wake of the failed coup attempt continues, with more than 20,000 having so far been detained, dismissed or suspended from positions.

So far the suspensions include nearly 1,500 officials from Turkey’s finance ministry, as well as nearly 3,000 judges and prosecutors. Those dismissed from positions entirely include 30 governors, 50 high-ranking civil servants, and nearly 8,000 police officers. Finally, at least 7,543 people have been taken into custody, 6,038 of which are soldiers.

According to the EU commissioner charged with Turkey’s bid to enter the European Union, the speed with which the Turkish government has instigated and carried out the roundup seems to indicate that a list of names existed before the coup occurred, to be used in an event which seemed justify the purge.

Meanwhile, world leaders have called for President Erdogan to exercise restraint in his proceedings and respect the democratic process. US Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that Turkey must respect NATO’s requirement for democracy, insinuating that violating it may lead to Turkey’s expulsion from the alliance.

Some have gone so far as to liken to the coup, and subsequent purging of officials by the Turkish government, as President Erdogan’s equivalent of the 1933 arson attack on the German parliament which came to be known as the “Reichstag Fire”. The attack was used by Adolf Hitler to suspend civil liberties and create the Nazi dictatorship.

 

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