On July 15 2016, Turkey underwent an attempted coup against its government. The coup was prevented but repercussions are felt in every quarter of life in the county. The abortive coup paved the way for a number of radical changes and caused far-reaching social, economic and political consequences in Turkey.
So what has changed in Turkey after the coup attempt?
I- Constitutional change
The failed coup provided ruling government with the momentum to achieve the goal of changing constitution and concentrating power in a dominant presidency. The constitutional reform which aimed to strengthen the Turkish president powers was approved by referendum with %51 voted ‘yes’. Erdogan supporters argue that given Turkey’s history of coups – including the failed attempt on July 15 – a stronger executive is needed while critics say the reform will entrench one man rule.
Most of the changes will come into effects after presidential election in 2019.
II- State of Emergency
In the aftermath of the coup attempt Turkey has imposed state of emergency which still remain in place. The state of emergency allows President Erdogan to bypass parliament and suspend rights and freedoms.
III- Thousands of judges and state employees purged
Latest government figures show authorities have fired 103, 824 state employees and suspended 33, 483 since the July 15 last year. According to government data 50, 546 “suspects” were in prison as of July 3. Judicial bodies processed the cases of 168, 206 people linked to the coup attempt and arrest warrants had been issued for 8, 000 others. Nearly 3,000 judges and prosecutors have been sacked. Almost all of them are in prison.
Turkish authorities have shut down 156 media outlets for alleged links to ‘terrorism’ and press accreditation of 750 journalists has been revoked according to Turkey’s Directorate of the Press. Over 100 journalists jailed in post-coup crackdown which brought total number of journalist in prison to 165, “European Federation of Journalists says”: http://europeanjournalists.org/turkey-journalists-in-jail/
Among jailed journalist were French Mathias Depardon and Italian journalist Gabriele del Grande who were freed in June. Turkish government has blocked access to Wikipedia in April citing ‘threats to national security’.
V – Military
Turkey has shut the military academies and put the armed forces under the command of defense minister as part of a vast shake up of the military. A total number of 7, 655 army officers including 150 generals and admirals have been dismissed from their post since the coup, defense ministry sources indicate.
VI- Council of Europe put Turkey on watchlist
In April the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) voted to reopen a monitoring probe into Turkey over concerns about human rights. That means Turkey will be subject to frequent visits by human rights officials. The last time Turkey put under such monitoring process was in 1996. It was 2004 when Turkey was removed from the watchlist. Turkey is a member of the Council of Europe which is a separate body from the EU.
VII- EU Parliament calls for halt to membership talks
Europen Parliament (EP) voted by 471 to 37 to halt Turkey’s EU accession talks citing “disproportionate repressive measures”. EU Parliament’s decision is symbolic. Amid highly strained relations with several EU countries Erdogan indicated that they would seek to hold a referendum on whether to continue talks on accession to the EU.
VIII- Nearly 1000 companies seized
965 companies have been seized as part of the crackdown over the past year. The companies’s assets, which amount to nearly 11 billion dollars according to deputy prime minister Nurettin Canikli, are now held within Savings Deposit Insurance Fund. Owners of the companies are either in prison or abroad.
IX- NGOs, schools, unions closure
Under emergency measure, more than 1,400 nongovernmental organizations were closed in reaction to the attempted coup. In additions to that 934 schools, 109 dormitories, 15 universities, 35 hospitals and 19 trade unions were shut down with a “decree issued by President Erdogan.”:http://www.resmigazete.gov.tr/eskiler/2016/07/20160723-8-1.pdf “Amnesty Turkey’s Director Idil Eser”: https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/tell-erdogan-free-amnesty-turkey-idil-Eser-and-nine-others/ and nine other have been detained on 5th of july.
X- Turkey’s sovereign debt downgraded
Ratings agency Fitch downgraded Turkey’s sovereign debt to “junk”:https://www.fitchratings.com/site/pr/1018279 in January, cutting its last remaining investment grade. Other agencies Standard & Poors and Moody’s had also lowered its outlook for Turkey to “negative” from “stable” stressing concern about political insecurity after failed coup last year.