Soldiers humiliated in brutal response to Turkey’s failed coup

Published July 18th, 2016 - 02:45 GMT
Pictures from the coup ad it took over the streets of Turkey this weekend (AFP / File)
Pictures from the coup ad it took over the streets of Turkey this weekend (AFP / File)

Turkey’s government is responding mercilessly to the weekend’s failed coup, purging state institutions and arresting thousands of people linked to the attempt.

Today, worrying pictures purportedly showing soldiers bound and naked emerged online. The photographs show men stripped to their underclothes with their wrists tied, crouched or lying in large warehouse-type locations.

Erdogan has promised to hit back at those he deems responsible for the coup with a harsh response. The extent of the crackdown, however, has provoked fears that he plans to bypass the judicial process, and use the opportunity to purge the state of his enemies.

In a statement the President described the forces behind the coup as a “virus” that had infected much of the country and needed to be cleansed. He has refused to rule out bringing back the death penalty in the wake of the coup.

The military leaders involved in leading the coup have also been filmed, and footage of them being accused shared widely online.

The mass arrests and detentions aren’t the only response, however. In some cases, mob justice has risen in the streets and angry crowds have attacked soldiers deemed responsible for the coup. It’s unclear what the level of support would have been among these young men in uniform – many may just have been following orders. But that hasn’t stopped furious citizens from hitting soldiers with belts, kicking them, or even in one alleged case, beheading them in the street. 

In the heat of the aftermath, some commentators have speculated that the coup was staged by Erdogan in an attempt to deepen control over the country. World leaders have urged restraint in Erdogan’s response, but tensions in the country don’t seem to be dying down.

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