This week in Restoring Family Links: 07/18/2016-07/22/2016

Erdogan supporters capture a Turkish army vehicle after soldiers surrendered Saturday. Photo credit: CNN

Erdogan supporters capture a Turkish army vehicle after soldiers surrendered Saturday. Photo credit: CNN

Turkey: Friday night, July 15th, Turkey experienced an attempted military coup, resulting in 161 deaths and at least 1,440 people injured. After a night of fighting between the insurgent military faction and the government, President Recept Tayyip Erdogan declared that the coup was over and that the government was still in charge.   

Aside from this recent coup, Turkey has gone through three military takeovers in 1960, 1971, and 1980 respectively and the people then went through gross human rights violations. According to Elif Shafak, a Turkish novelist and essayist, because of this history, Turkish people are willing to defend the civilian rule against any military coups because they do not want another dictatorship; even if they are not fond of the ruling government.

President Erdogan has blamed the attempted coup along with previous alleged attempts on Fetullah Gulen, a controversial US-based Muslim cleric, who aims to take over the reign of Turkey through the infiltration of public and private ranks. Since the failed coup attempt, Turkey has been extensively detaining more than 10,000 individuals, including: 100 generals, 3,000 soldiers, and 7,500 policemen. It is also reported that on June 19th, Turkey suspended over 15,000 educational workers. As a result, US and European leaders have urged Turkey to “follow the rule of law and maintain democratic principles amid the sweeping fallout from the coup attempt.”

The abortive coup is the latest addition to the violence that Turkey suffers this year, such as ISIS suicide attacks, and the renewed fighting with the Kurdish separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party. As a result, Turkey is no longer regarded as a “safe” haven for Syrian refugees because of unstable and unsafe it is becoming.

The Turkish Red Crescent is currently providing support in cities across the country, such as Ankara, Istanbul, Adana, and Trabzon. They are also providing psychological support for the families of those injured in clashes, as well as deploying a mobile kitchen to provide food and drinks at hospitals to those waiting for the news of their loved ones. The Turkish Red Crescent is also collecting and coordinating blood donations.