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Report: 228,000 people arrested since 2016 coup attempt in Turkey

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As the Turkish government prepares to end a long-running state of emergency on Wednesday, a report by Bianet reveals that 134,144 people were dismissed from their jobs and 228,137 were arrested during the two years of the state of emergency declared five days after a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

According to the report 32 state of emergency decrees, known as KHKs, were issued during those two years that also reinstated 3,981 people to their jobs.

As reported by the state-run Anadolu news agency, 283 criminal cases were filed in connection with the coup attempt, 106 of which had been concluded as of March 23, 2018. Eight hundred five defendants were sentenced to prison, 592 of whom received life in prison.

A total of 45,415 social media accounts were investigated, and legal action was taken against 17,089 social media users on charges including propagandizing for and praising a terrorist organization; openly declaring relations with terrorist organizations; inciting the public to enmity and hatred; insulting state officials; targeting the indivisible integrity of the state and people’s safety; and engaging in hate speech.

According to the Ministry of Interior, 845 people who criticized Operation Olive Branch launched in Afrin, northern Syria, were taken into custody.

A total of 2,271 private educational institutions were closed. The licenses of 21,860 executives, educators, teachers, specialized instructors and other personnel were cancelled, and regulations were introduced to prevent the people in question from obtaining licenses to work at private educational institutions.

Forty-seven private medical centers, 174 media organizations, 1,414 nongovernmental organizations and associations, 145 foundation 15 universities and 19 unions, which were members of two confederations, were closed.

Trustees were appointed to 99 municipalities, 94 of which were of governed by the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), four were run by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and one by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

According to Bianet’s Media Monitoring Report, 100 journalists were sent to prison in the wake of the July 15 coup attempt in 2017 alone. The figure was 31 in 2016. The number of imprisoned journalists reached 131 on Jan. 1, 2018. At the moment, 127 journalists are still in prison.

Turkey was ranked 155th among 180 countries in 2017, falling four places compared to the previous year in the World Press Freedom Index prepared by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). In its report, RSF stated that Turkey had dropped 57 places in the last 12 years during the AKP government’s time in power.

In the “Rule of Law Index” prepared since 2008 by the World Justice Platform, Turkey was ranked 99th among 113 countries in 2016; according to data announced in February 2018, Turkey fell two places and was ranked 101st.

Turkey was ranked 149th among 163 countries in the Global Peace Index released annually by the Australia-based Institute of Economy and Peace. Turkey was ranked 146th in 2016 and 138th in 2015.

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