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Daily Brief: Turkey Cracks Down on Police, Military Suspects Following Coup Attempt

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July 18, 2016

Daily News Brief

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Turkey Cracks Down on Police, Military Suspects Following Coup Attempt

Turkish government officials said that 8,000 police officers had been suspended and 6,000 members of the judiciary and military had been detained (BBC) following a coup attempt on Friday. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the uprising left 208 people dead (Hurriyet), including 145 civilians and 60 police. A senior EU commissioner said the high number of suspects detained suggested a list of opponents had been drawn up ahead of Friday's events (Middle East Eye). Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed rival cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in exile in Pennsylvania, for the coup attempt. A U.S. defense department official announced Sunday that U.S. warplanes will resume missions against the self-proclaimed Islamic State flown from the Incirlik airbase after a brief shutdown during the uprising (NYT)


"As he steers the country from the brink of civil war, Erdogan needs to rise above a majoritarian understanding of democracy and do justice to the aspirations of a public that heeded his call by pouring into the streets and squares to defeat the coup attempt. This is the least that the Turkish public deserves. This would also be a move in the right direction for Turkey’s neighborhood, which desperately needs a respite from the turmoil resulting from the war in Syria, the instability in Iraq, Russia’s territorial ambitions and now Brexit. This is the moment when a stable, democratic, transparent, accountable and prosperous Turkey needs to come to the fore on the world-stage," Kemal Kirisci writes for the National Interest.

"By the timetable of recent history, Friday’s attempted coup d’état in Turkey was roughly a decade behind schedule. For the better part of 40 years, beginning in 1960, the Turkish military overthrew governments it did not like around once a decade. The almost-twenty-year interregnum between the last military intervention in 1997 and this weekend’s putsch created the impression among many in Turkey and the West that the coup era was over. During this period, the ruling Justice and Development Party, known as AKP, and its leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, used both constitutional reforms and dubious criminal prosecutions of senior officers to bring the military under control," CFR's Steven A. Cook writes for the Washington Post.

"The constructive story about the Turkish economy has long been anchored around greater integration in the global economy, and specifically strengthened trade and financial ties with Europe. Such hopes–including the anchor provided by the ambition of eventual EU membership–already were being called into question following the Brexit vote, and any effort by the Turkish government in the aftermath of the coup to extend government authority or adopt more nationalistic economic policies likely would further dampen interest in the west in strengthening economic ties," writes CFR's Robert Kahn.


Malaysia Airlines Settles With Families of Ukraine Crash Victims

A lawyer for Malaysia Airlines said the company had reached a deal to award damages to the families those killed in a 2014 crash, which investigators based in the West have linked to Pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine. The crash killed all 298 people aboard (BBC)


Kazakhstan Launches Anti-Terror Operation Following Attack

Kazakhstan launched an anti-terror operation after three police officers and one civilian were killed in an attack in Almaty (Reuters). The Interfax news agency quoted a police source who said the attack was carried out by a religious radical.

INDIA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pushing for legislative support for a tax overhaul as parliament reconvenes Monday (WSJ). Modi's party has been trying to pass a proposed 17 percent tax on goods and services for more than a year and a half. 


Bahrain Dissolves Prominent Opposition Shia Party

A Bahraini court ruled to dissolve the main opposition party, Al-Wefaq (Al Jazeera), and transfer its funds to the state treasury. The court accused the party of incubating terrorism, extremism, and violence in the Sunni-ruled Shia-majority monarchy.

IRAN: President Hassan Rouhani is facing backlash in Iran after national media published the salaries of managers and executives in state-run companies (NYT). Some executives purportedly received bonuses of hundreds of thousands of dollars a month.

U.S. Senator Chris Coons assesses the impact of the Iran nuclear deal on its year anniversary.


EU Military Training Mission Launches in Central African Republic

The European Union began a two-year military training operation in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, with the aim of modernizing the country's armed forces and advising its defense ministry (European Council).

The Global Conflict Tracker follows updates in the Central African Republic since the outbreak of violence there in 2013.


Nice Investigators Find Tenuous Connection of Parade Attacker to Islamists

Investigators researching Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who killed eighty-four people when he drove a truck through a Bastille day parade in Nice on Thursday, have found only tenuous links to radical Islamists (FT). The self-proclaimed Islamic State hailed Bouhlel as a "soldier," but investigators have found no evidence he sought to dedicate the attack to an Islamist cause.


Obama Addresses Nation After Ex-Marine Kills Three Police in Baton Rouge

U.S. President Barack Obama condemned (White House) an attack by a gunman that killed three police officers in Baton Rouge. The gunman was identified as a marine who served in the Iraq War.

NICARAGUA: Thousands of government employees and supporters of the ruling party marched in Managua to support President Daniel Ortega's run for a third consecutive term (LAHT).


Report: Six Richest Countries Host 9 Percent of World's Refugees

The six wealthiest countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, account for half of the world's economy but only host 9 percent of its refugees, according to a new report from Oxfam (Al Jazeera), a UK-based advocacy group. According to the group, six countries, including Jordan and Turkey, host half of the world's refugees.  

The State Department's Shaun Casey and Refugee One's Melineh Kano discuss refugee resettlement in the United States and the role of religious organizations at this CFR event

WORLD BANK: The World Bank is expected to appoint U.S. economist Paul Romer as its chief economist (FT). His recruitment is seen by some as a sign of the bank's turn to a more activist role in addressing pressing global needs.


Trump VP Pence Backs Free Trade, Supports Enhanced Interrogation

Donald Trump's vice presidential pick Indiana Governor Mike Pence said (CBS) that he and Trump were in favor of free trade. In the interview that was aired on CBS 60 Minutes a day before the Republican nominating convention, Pence said he also supports Trump’s position on deploying prohibited, harsh interrogation methods like waterboarding on captured militants.

Track and compare the foreign policy positions of the Republican and Democratic candidates with CFR’s interactive, The Candidates and the World.

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