Turkey Requests Gulen’s Extradition as Crackdown Widens
The Turkish government has formally submitted its request to the United States to extradite Fethullah Gulen, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told parliament today. “We have sent four dossiers to the United States for the extradition of the terrorist chief. We will present them with more evidence than they want,” he said. U.S. Secretary of ...
The Turkish government has formally submitted its request to the United States to extradite Fethullah Gulen, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told parliament today. “We have sent four dossiers to the United States for the extradition of the terrorist chief. We will present them with more evidence than they want,” he said. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said over the weekend that the United States would consider extradition, but only if presented with compelling evidence. The Turkish government’s domestic crackdown after the failed coup widened again yesterday. More than 7,500 people have now been arrested and 20,000 government officials have been detained or dismissed from their jobs, according to the Turkish Interior Ministry. Analysts and rights groups have expressed concern at the sweeping arrests, noting an authoritarian bent and a lack of evidence in the purge.
The region is also responding to the attempted coup. Iran, despite ongoing tensions with Turkey, particularly regarding the Syrian civil war, responded quickly to the coup and announced on Saturday that it fully supported Turkey’s elected government. Iranian media reported that Foreign Minister Javad Zarif spoke to his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, three times in the first 24 hours after the coup. The coup had many quiet supporters in Egypt, though, where a similar military uprising succeeded in ousting the government of Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Dalia Youssef, the deputy chairwoman of the foreign affairs committee in the Egyptian parliament told the New York Times that “many public figures” wanted to see Erdogan’s government removed and that it would have improved Egyptian-Turkish ties.
Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Attack Aboard German Train
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack carried out by a man wielding an ax aboard a train in Germany. Four people were wounded before the attacker, a 17-year-old Afghan migrant, was shot and killed by police. A hand-drawn Islamic State flag was found in his room and investigators are working to determine if he was self-radicalized. A messaging wing of the Islamic State said the attacker was an “Islamic State soldier,” using language similar to its claim about the affiliation of the attacker in Nice.
- As many as 77 civilians have been killed by U.S. airstrikes targeting Islamic State-held portions of Manbij and Al-Tukhar, Syria, where an advance by the Syrian Democratic Forces rebel coalition has stalled, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
- The United States and Russia criticized the United Nations for exceeding its scope in its first biannual report on the implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement; U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said that documenting Iranian complaints about poor economic recovery after the lifting of sanctions was beyond the U.N. reporting mandate.
- The new British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, reaffirmed British policy is that Bashar al-Assad must leave power for peace to be achieved in Syria and called on Russia to push for his departure; Johnson will hold ministerial-level talks with the United States, France, Germany, and Italy today to discuss Syria.
- The Bahraini government charged Nazeeha Saeed, a veteran journalist working for France24 who is already subject to a travel ban, with working for a foreign news organization without a license; journalists in the country say they have come under increasing pressure over the past year.
- Two al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula suicide car bombers attacked military checkpoints near Mukalla, Yemen, killing 10 people; U.N.-brokered peace talks on Yemen resumed on Saturday in Kuwait after a month-long hiatus.
Arguments and Analysis
“Health Taken Hostage: Cruel Denial of Medical Care in Iran’s Prisons” (Amnesty International)
“Iranian authorities have a track record of airing forced ‘confessions’ and statements of ‘repentance’ by political prisoners on state-run television and media outlets. Amnesty International’s research shows that security and intelligence officials, including from the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards, have in some cases prevented access to medical care for detainees and prisoners, barred their transfer to hospital or blocked permission for medical leave, for the purposes of punishment or to elicit ‘confessions’. In such cases, the officials have typically made health care conditional on prisoners giving videotaped ‘confessions’ or writing statements of ‘repentance’ (tobeh). Attempting to obtain a ‘confession’ as a condition for medical treatment violates the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
“Why the defeated coup in Turkey could make democracy weaker there” (Ezgi Basaran, PostEverything)
“To see Erdogan and the AKP using social media to rally Turks to protect democracy was bitterly ironic. Blocking and/or slowing down the Internet and imposing a broadcast ban on TV are the main methods Erdogan’s administration has come to use during major news events. That was what the government did, for example, after a mine explosion in Soma in 2014 and attacks by the Islamic State last year in Suruc and Ankara, and earlier this summer in Istanbul. The Dogan Media news outlets, whose live broadcast Erdogan joined via FaceTime, have been blacklisted by the AKP, and its executives and journalists have been called ‘traitors’ countless times and persecuted through various methods including ad revenue cuts, smear campaigns and tax fines.”
-J. Dana Stuster
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