The statement attributed to a group of Turkish military officers late Friday stating that they were taking over the country in order to “restore democracy” is a contradiction in terms. In the situation in Turkey where democracy is abused and human rights are set aside, the military cannot be allowed to assume that role. Fundamental democratic rights and a true state built on those rights and the rule of law can only be built from within by the people of Turkey.
Guarantees of basic human rights, including rights at work which are systematically abused in Turkey, freedom of speech and of the media, an independent legislature and other essentials of a truly democratic state are now likely to be further reduced under the guise of “punishing the plotters”.
The people of Turkey and the international trade union movement, now need to closely monitor and, when needed, strongly condemn and resist any attempt to use the current situation as an opportunity to crack down further on freedoms and democracy in Turkey. Early signs from the AKP government suggest such vigilance and resistance will be critically needed as judges with as yet no proven connection to the military events of July 15 are dismissed by the thousands and lawyers, journalists and others totally unconnected to any military action face the threat of still greater repression.