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Available Expert - Aftermath of attempted coup in Turkey

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Queen's University historian Ariel Salzmann is available to comment on the aftermath of and response to the attempted coup d'etat in Turkey last week. On July 15, factions within the Turkish military attempted to take over control of the government. The attempt was suppressed during the early morning hours of July 16, though the response by President Erdoğan continues.

"The failed military putsch of July 15th terrorized and traumatized the country," says Dr. Salzmann. "It demonstrated the deep divisions in the military establishment currently engaged in two major conflicts - supporting anti-Assad forces in Syria and counterinsurgency operations in southeastern Turkey against the Kurdish Workers' Party. Rather than using the assault on democratic institutions as a moment to bridge differences and reflect on current policies, the ruling Justice and Development Party sees it as golden opportunity to consolidate power over the state and society."

Nearly 3,000 soldiers, including over 100 of the rank of General or above, have been arrested since the coup attempt. Nearly 50,000 civil servants have had been fired or taken into custody. Members of the press have come under attack as well, with the licenses of 24 television channels and the press cards of 34 journalists being revoked. The nation's academics have been prohibited from leaving  the country and the nearly 1,500 university deans and rectors have been forced to resign.

"(The government) has mobilized its followers to take to the streets," says Dr. Salzmann.

Dr. Ariel Salzmann is an associate professor of history at Queen's University, with a research focus on Islamic and World History. She is available for interviews by phone or Skype.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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