Overnight Turkish president Erdogan’s counter-coup witch hunt continued, when thousands of police officers were suspended on Monday, widening a systemic purge of Erdogan’s enemies first in the armed forces and then judiciary after a failed military coup, now focusing on the interior police force, and raising concern among European allies that it was abandoning the rule of law. Reuters reports that at least 8,000 police officers have been removed from their posts, in addition to 1,500 at the ministry of finance, on suspicion of links to Friday’s coup.
At least 42 helicopters have gone missing from Turkey’s military inventory in the wake of the failed coup attempt on Friday evening causing concern that there may be another act to the attempted overthrow of Erdogan. CNN Turk anchor Serdar Tuncer reports that at least 42 helicopters have gone missing from the Turkish military inventory and says concern is brewing that another coup effort may soon be underway. “It is as though this rogue will try more things. Can they succeed? No! But will they try?” said the reporter.
The swift rounding up of judges and others after a failed coup in Turkey indicated the government had prepared a list beforehand, the EU commissioner dealing with Turkey’s membership bid, Johannes Hahn, said on Monday. Following a failed coup attempt on Saturday, Turkish authorities on Sunday rounded up nearly 3,000 suspected military plotters, ranging from top commanders to foot soldiers, and the same number of judges and prosecutors.