— Maggie (@drillanwr) July 20, 2016
(FOX News) – Turkey’s massive crackdown on tens of thousands of government workers may achieve what the coup attempt could not: bringing the entire nation to a grinding halt.
Nearly 50,000 soldiers, judges, academics, police officers and civil servants have been rounded up, detained, fired or suspended in the aftermath of Friday’s failed coup, leaving key government offices and universities staffed with terrified skeleton crews, sources told FoxNews.com. Those detained or sacked include 30 provincial governors, more than 100 military generals and admirals, 8,000 police officers, 6,000 soldiers, almost 8,000 Interior Ministry workers, key finance and domestic ministers, and intelligence officials.
The latest action came Wednesday, when Turkey’s higher education council slapped a travel ban that prevents thousands of academics from leaving the country. It also called on all academics overseas to return home and said 626 private schools and other establishments would be closed down.
“Universities have always been crucial for military juntas in Turkey, and certain individuals are believed to be in contact with cells within the military,” one Turkish official was quoted as saying.
The target of these actions is the tens of thousands of perceived supporters of U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fetullah Gulen, a one-time supporter but now political enemy of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
“We will get into their dens … We will find all of them,” Erdogan vowed Tuesday night, to a crowd gathered in his Istanbul neighborhood.
“A frightening atmosphere is emerging for those who are not sided with the government,” said Ahmet Altan, former editor-in-chief of pro-Gulen daily Taraf, in an opinion piece published in the local press, likening Turkey’s current situation to the infamous “era of terror” that followed the French Revolution.
“TVs are being shut down, online news sites are being banned, thousands of police dismissed, soldiers dismissed, teachers dismissed … The trauma is probably going to be bigger than we guess and will last longer than we expect,” he said…
— Daniel Pipes (@DanielPipes) July 15, 2016