Chris McGrath / Getty Images
Istanbul, July 15 2017: People chant slogans and wave flags at the first anniversary of the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt.
And that’s done little to heal the nation’s divisive political environment, as evidenced by opposing rallies over the weekend. As several hundred thousand Turks took to the streets in support of the controversial 63-year old who pledged to penalize those responsible for the attempt to overthrow his government, others protested Ankara’s silencing of its critics.
“The coup came at a pretty ideal time for the Turkish president,” Reva Goujon, vice president of global analysis at intelligence firm Stratfor, told CNBC on Monday. “Of course, nobody likes the idea of people plotting against you, but Erdogan definitely did make the most of it in using it as a broader pretext to crack down on a number of political dissenters.”
The Turkish embassy in Singapore did not respond to a CNBC request for comment.
According to Reuters, more than 150,000 Turks have been fired or suspended from civil and private sector jobs while over 50,000 have been detained for alleged links to Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara deemed responsible for the thwarted takeover. That includes Friday’s dismissal of 7,000 police, civil servants and academics. Gulen, however, has denied any involvement.
In his crackdown on Gulen’s influential supporters — known as Gulenists — and other potential political adversaries, the president also targeted ethnic Kurds in a move designed to win the support of nationalists. Emergency rule was also imposed shortly following the coup and may now be extended for the third time, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim suggested on Friday.