The man has indeed praised Hitler’s government style.
MICHAEL BURLEIGH: The purge! The mass culling of the professional classes in Turkey is chillingly reminiscent of Hitler’s strategy to destroy his opposition and should terrify us all
A shocking 60,000 people detained or suspended from their jobs.
A three-month state of emergency which empowers him and his government to issue new laws without having to consult parliament.
Since the botched coup against his Islamist regime last Friday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lost no time in ruthlessly cracking down on his enemies.
The terrifying scale of his response — and the way he has used it to boost his already autocratic powers — has given rise to suggestions that he might have faked the coup, in which 265 people died, to give him the excuse to grab more power.
This is unlikely, not least because so many of his close friends were killed. But that doesn’t mean Erdogan hasn’t taken advantage of the situation to rid his country of anyone who disagrees with him, and mould it — and its culture — in line with his own despotic vision.
It is not just that 6,000 military personnel, with more than two dozen generals awaiting trial, have been arrested — or that 9,000 police officers have been sacked and 3,000 judges suspended. An astonishing 15,000 school teachers have also lost their jobs, as well as 1,500 deans of Turkish universities.
How, exactly, could the country’s educationalists and members of the judiciary have been involved in a coup attempt cooked up by army and air force officers?
The regime says all these people are supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric and Erdogan opponent who lives in exile in the United States and who, Erdogan claims, was behind the plot.
It’s true Gulen has a secretive society of ‘Gulenist’ supporters throughout Turkey, and that it recruits high-flyers to its liberal Muslim cause through a global network of private schools.
But the Turkish government has yet to come up with any evidence that Gulen was behind the coup attempt.
The truth is that Erdogan is using his new emergency measures to effectively purge Turkey of all those he considers ‘undesirables’. To this end, he is warning that he could bring back the death penalty.