Turkey vows to root out Gulen movement

Jul 19, 2016, 7:39 AM EDT
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
(Source: AMISOM Public Information/flickr)

Following a deep purge of the army, police and judiciary, Turkey vowed on Tuesday to wipe out all the allies of the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who it accuses of orchestrating a failed coup attempt last week. The government said it has shared the evidence of Gulen’s wrongdoing with U.S. authorities. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim earlier slammed Washington, accusing it of “double standards” in the fight against terrorism, after the U.S. said it would extradite Gulen only if clear evidence is provided.

Turkey’s broad crackdown, which has seen suspension or detention of about 20,000 soldiers, police, judges and civil servants since coup bid, has alarmed Western leaders, who have been urging the country to adhere to democratic values, writes Reuters. Expressing concern over mass suspensions, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said that human rights should not be violated in the name of security.

In a separate development, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he is prepared to reintroduce capital punishment “if the people demand it,” reports the BBC. The comment came despite an earlier warning from E.U. officials that Turkey’s hopes of membership in the bloc would be finished if it reinstated death penalty.