Turkish police detain a student wearing a t-shirt reading "Don't touch my teacher!" in Diyarbakir on September 19, 2016, during a protest against the suspension of teachers for suspected links to militants. (Photos by AFP)
The leader of Turkey's opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) says one million people have suffered Ankara’s “reckless measures” following a failed military coup.
“You’ll break the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people if you carry out this [process of prosecution] with the feeling of revenge and hatred. Today, there are more than 1 million sufferers,” said Kemal Kilicdaroglu, during an interview with CNN Turk released on Tuesday.
In July, a faction of the Turkish military declared it was in control of the country and the government was no more in charge. Tanks, helicopters, and soldiers then clashed with police and people on the streets of the capital, Ankara, and Istanbul. Between 200 and 300 people were killed on all sides in the attempted coup d’état.
Following the botched putsch, Ankara also suspended around 100,000 civil servants and detained some 40,000 people over ties with the opposition cleric, Fethullah Gulen (seen below), who is blamed for the coup attempt.
"Anyone can be detained for being related to FETO," Kilicdaroglureferring to the name the Turkish government has given to the US-based cleric's supporters.
"What criteria are you using to suspend officials?,” Kılıçdaroğlu said."We have formed a team in the party for the FETO victims. They can come and apply with us," he noted.
The leader of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party Kemal Kilicdaroglu
After the putsch, Turkey announced a three-month state of emergency, during which it has started a heavy-handed crackdown, especially in the country’s mainly Kurdish southeastern regions.
"The state of emergency should be used to bring the country back to normal," he said. "But they took things completely unrelated to the coup and put them in with the state of emergency," he added.