After the Coup
Erdogan Releases 38,000 Prisoners to Make Room for Coup Plotters

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is emptying Turkey’s jails to make space to lock up tens of thousands of political enemies coup plotters. Reuters reports:

In an interview with A Haber television, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said 38,000 people would initially be released, but as many as 93,000 could benefit from the program.

To be eligible for the scheme, prisoners must have served half of their sentences. Previously they were required to have already served two thirds of their sentences.

According to justice ministry data obtained by Anadolu agency, there were 213,499 prisoners in jail as of Aug. 16, more than 26,000 above prison capacity.

So Turkey could empty somewhere between 17 and 43.5 percent of its prison capacity to make room for the following dangerous, dangerous classes of peoples:

Alongside tens of thousands of civil servants suspended or dismissed, more than 35,000 people have been detained in the purge. Judges, journalists, police, and teachers are among those targeted for suspected links to Gulen’s movement.

Any government that survives a coup attempt is obviously going to punish those responsible. And in the narrow sense of the word “responsible”—i.e. those who actually plotted and executed the coup—this is usually just. That’s not what’s going on in Turkey. This is a thoroughgoing purge of civil society so large as to be nearly revolutionary. It was embarked on so swiftly and with so much detail after the coup that it seems likely that Erdogan already had the lists for a purge drawn up. And there’s no telling where it will end.

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