The Dutch association Judges for Judges has said emergency rule, which was declared in Turkey following a failed military coup attempt on July 15, has made the establishment of an authoritarian regime in the country possible, weakening the rule of law.
“The emergency rule measures and decrees paved the way for the establishment of an authoritarian regime, to the detriment of the rule of law,” Judges for Judges said in a message from its Twitter account on Sunday.
The association’s message came in the aftermath of new government decrees issued on Saturday which included controversial anti-coup measures.
Among other things, as part of the new decrees, which have the force of law, a total 10,158 staff members have been purged from state institutions for allegedly “being members of terrorist organizations or organizations, groups that were listed by the National Security Council as acting against the security of the state” while 15 more media outlets have been closed down.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
Despite Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, whose views inspired the movement, and the movement having denied the accusation, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
About 120,000 people have been purged from state bodies, in excess of 80,000 detained and over 36,000 have been arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian. Critics argue that lists of Gülen sympathizers were drawn up prior to the coup attempt.