"Turkey is fast becoming an empire of fear"
Turkey -- Secularist coup plot foiled: "Turkey is fast becoming an empire of fear"
An attempt to stem the tide of Islamization and the advance of Sharia in Turkey has been foiled. "Dozens more held in Turkish coup plot," by Suzan Fraser for AP, January 22:
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Police detained more suspects Thursday in a new wave of arrests connected with an alleged secularist plot to bring down the Islamic-rooted government of Turkey, a prosecutor said.
The detentions followed police raids on about 30 locations across Turkey, said Turan Colakkadi, a deputy chief prosecutor for Istanbul. The state-run Anatolia news agency said the headquarters of a secularist metal workers' trade union and an opposition television station were raided.
Colakkadi would not say how many people were detained in the raids, which threaten to aggravate tensions between secularists and Islamists. Anatolia and other news reports said dozens were taken into custody.
"At the moment, searches are taking place in more than 30 places in various provinces. There could be more detentions according to documents or evidence found. That is why I cannot give a figure," he said.
Many see the investigation into the alleged plot as the latest battle between the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and secularists who are backed by the military and the judiciary and who consider themselves the protectors of Turkey's secular system.
The conflict between the government and its secular opponents reached a peak in July when the Constitutional Court ruled against disbanding Erdogan's party, which had been accused of steering the country toward Islamic rule. The court did impose a fine, as a warning. [...]
The opposition accuses the government of a witch hunt against secularists who opposed the government's efforts to raise the profile of Islam.
"The trade unions are being silenced, media organizations are being scared off," opposition lawmaker Mustafa Ozyurek told reporters outside the union's headquarters. "Turkey is fast becoming an empire of fear."