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Turkish Leaders Plan Special Courts, Prisons, 'Graveyard for Traitors' After Coup

Government leaders widen crackdown on dissidents

A woman takes part in a pro-government demonstration in Istanbul on Tuesday. (Photo: AP)

A day after Turkish leaders revoked licenses, fired, and arrested tens of thousands of teachers and civil servants allegedly linked to last week's failed coup, national authorities on Wednesday promised to establish "a special court for trying coup plotters" as well as "a special prison" for those convicted of taking part in the putsch, according to Turkish Weekly.

Meanwhile, Istanbul mayor Kadir Topbaş told a group of protesters late Tuesday that he was planning to create a "graveyard for traitors" to bury the bodies of soldiers killed during the coup, Hurriyet Daily reported.

The Turkish newspaper detailed Topbaş's macabre comments:

"I ordered a space to be saved and to call it 'the graveyard for traitors.' The passersby will curse the ones buried there. 'Everyone visiting the place will curse them and they won't be able rest in their graves,' I said," Topbaş told a group of coup protesters gathered in Istanbul's Taksim Square late on July 19, while adding that the mayor of the Black Sea province of Ordu had refused to provide a burial place for the coup plotters. 

"The mayor of Ordu didn't provide a spot for their dead bodies. A family took a dead body and buried it in their garden. I congratulate the mayor," he also said. 

Saying that the cemetery of the nameless was not a suitable place for the coup plotters to be buried as it included religious people, Topbaş noted that the putschists "won't be saved from hell."


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"I believe that they won't be saved from hell," Topbaş added. "But we need make the world unbearable for them."

Nationwide animosity toward coup participants is apparently growing: the state's director of religious affairs issued a statement Tuesday promising to withhold religious funerary services to those on the side of the coup who were killed last week, apparently in response to a deluge of questions on the topic.

"Saying that funeral prayers were reserved for believers who died and that blessing were given for the deceased during the prayers, the statement added the coup plotting soldiers did not deserve the blessings of the believers," Hurriyet Daily reported.

Observers wonder if funeral services and graveyards may soon be in greater demand in Turkey: "Amid the post-coup purge, [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan said Tuesday he supported reintroducing the death penalty," as Common Dreams reported.

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