Report

Turkish Government Expands Crackdown on Media, Military, and Academia

The Turkish government has turned its attention to journalists in the latest expansion of its purges after a failed coup on July 15. Despite the government’s initial praise for the media’s response to the coup, authorities issued 42 arrest warrants for journalists today as part of its investigation. Authorities also closed several media outlets last ...

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The Turkish government has turned its attention to journalists in the latest expansion of its purges after a failed coup on July 15. Despite the government’s initial praise for the media’s response to the coup, authorities issued 42 arrest warrants for journalists today as part of its investigation. Authorities also closed several media outlets last week. This morning, police raided a military academy and academic institutions in Istanbul, resulting in dozens of arrests. Turkish airlines, which is state-owned and operated, dismissed more than 100 employees, from management to cabin crew, since the failed coup.

Thousands of supporters of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Kemalist opposition party, rallied against the coup attempt in Taksim Square last night. Party officials stressed that, though they do not agree with many of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s policies, they stand with his government against attempts to subvert the country’s democracy. “We’re talking about the coup, not about secularity,” a member of the crowd told CNN. “It’s our business. We can decide it. We can vote for the people who (are) trying to be more autocratic. But now, if there will be a coup, we can’t change it.”

Syrian Refugee Wounds 12 in Suicide Bombing in Germany

A Syrian man living in German detonated a suicide bomb at the entrance of a music festival in Ansbach, wounding 12 people. The man had been living in Germany for two years, during which time he had acquired a drug record and been denied asylum. He was due to be deported to Bulgaria, according to German officials. Authorities say there is no evidence of a connection to the Islamic State, and no terrorist organization has claimed credit for the attack. In a separate incident on Sunday, a Syrian asylum-seeker killed one person with a machete and wounded two others in Stuttgart. Police say they believe the attack was a “crime of passion.”

Headlines

  • Airstrikes by Assad regime aircraft targeted four hospitals and a blood bank in Aleppo over the weekend; a newborn infant was killed in one of the strikes, which hit a children’s hospital.

 

  • At least 17 people were killed in a car bombing in the predominantly Shia town of Khalis, Iraq, this morning; yesterday, another 20 people were killed in an attack in Baghdad claimed by the Islamic State.

 

  • An Islamic State gunman killed an Egyptian police major last night in El-Arish, in northern Sinai; the Islamic State claims that the attacker stole the policeman’s car and rifle after the attack.

 

  • A Saudi delegation led by a retired general met with senior Israeli officials on a trip to Israel and the West Bank; the purpose of the trip was to promote renewed negotiations of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

 

  • The annual summit of the Arab League is set to begin in Mauritania tomorrow.

Arguments and Analysis

Toward Regional Cooperation: The Internal Security Dimension” (Querine Hanlon, Middle East Institute)

“In the MENA region, the prospects for regional cooperation have been further complicated by the events of the Arab Spring. Prior to the Arab Spring, the region’s security forces cooperated, mostly in a bilateral fashion, to counter threats to their regimes and to repress internal dissent. For example, although there were important tensions among Tunis, Algiers, Tripoli, and Cairo, there was also a surprising degree of coordination among internal security forces along their shared borders, including coordinated operations and intelligence sharing. Even across the closed border between Morocco and Algeria, security forces engaged in limited cooperation to repatriate wayward shepherds or to counter smugglers. This cooperation was largely founded on shared interests — among which regime protection and even survival were among the most important. But in the aftermath of the collapse and overthrow of the regimes in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, this cooperation largely ceased — not only because those shared interests had disappeared, but also because, in the case of Libya, there was no regime to cooperate with. As one senior border security officer in Tunisia explained, ‘On the border with Libya, we are doing the work of two. We have no counterpart across the border.’”

 

Nice now has a reputation as a breeding ground for terrorists” (Jennifer Fredette, Monkey Cage)

“We still don’t know much about why Tunisian-born French resident Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a truck through Bastille Day crowds in Nice on July 14, killing 84 people and injuring many more. The Islamic State has asserted responsibility for the attack. But Bouhlel apparently did not attend any mosque, and acquaintances described him as an nonreligious divorcé who enjoyed drinking, dating and salsa dancing. Unlike previous attackers, he was not known to counterterrorism intelligence services. Early reports suggest that he had a history of psychological illness and a record of family violence. If he was being funded by the Islamic State to commit the attack, as Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a news conference, ‘it seems that he was radicalized very rapidly.’ More recent information suggests, however, that the ‘rapid radicalization’ theory might not be correct and that Bouhlel had been radicalized quite a while before. If he was, it is no surprise that it happened in Nice.”

-J. Dana Stuster

KAYHAN OZER/AFP/Getty Images

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