US Senate committee says political arrests in Turkey a betrayal of NATO values


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The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has voiced its disapproval of the recent mass arrest of some 600 people in Turkey due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement, saying the arrests are a betrayal of the values of the NATO, of which Turkey is a member.
“The iron-fisted rule that Erdogan continues to pursue is more aligned with Putin & Xi than @NATO. This latest wave of political arrests is further evidence of the need for the US & other democratic nations to demand Turkey stop betraying the values underpinning our alliance,” said the committee in a tweet on Thursday, also posting a news report about the mass arrests, which began on Tuesday.

The iron-fisted rule that Erdogan continues to pursue is more aligned with Putin & Xi than @NATO. This latest wave of political arrests is further evidence of the need for the US & other democratic nations to demand Turkey stop betraying the values underpinning our alliance. https://t.co/8uMM6vnIhN
— Senate Foreign Relations Committee (@SFRCdems) October 19, 2022

Turkish prosecutors issued detention warrants for 704 people, 599 of whom were detained as of Wednesday, for accepting assistance from other Gülen followers or for distributing donations from Gülen members overseas to the families of people jailed by the Turkish government or purged from their jobs over links to the movement.
The Turkish government accuses the faith-based Gülen movement of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is frequently accused these days of acting more like Russian President Vladimir Putin or Chinese President Xi Jinping than the president of a NATO member country due to his oppressive policies against his opponents and non-loyalist citizens.
This week’s mass arrests have attracted condemnation and anger from many rights activists and politicians around the world as well as some from Turkey who said helping a family in need would never be considered a crime in anywhere in the world.
Following the coup attempt, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and carried out a massive purge of state institutions under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. More than 130,000 public servants, including 4,156 judges and prosecutors, as well as 29,444 members of the armed forces were summarily removed from their jobs for alleged membership in or relationships with “terrorist organizations” by emergency decree-laws subject to neither judicial nor parliamentary scrutiny.
Victims of Turkey’s post-coup crackdown say they and their families experience severe financial and psychological problems due to what they call hate speech employed by the government and its supporters against them, which prevents them from leading normal lives, finding jobs and supporting their families.
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