Tens of thousands of public servants and soldiers were purged in the first week following the coup. For example, on 16 July 2016, just one day after the coup was foiled, 2,745 judges were dismissed and detained. This was followed by the dismissal, detention or suspension of about 50,000 officials.
The government declared a state of emergency and temporarily suspended its compliance to the European Convention on Human Rights—an international treaty ratified by
The purges were criticized by both national and international commentators. Can Dündar, the editor-in-chief of the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, for example, described the event as "the biggest witch-hunt in
In 2005, a man affiliated with the Gülen movement approached then-U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Eric S. Edelman during a party in Istanbul, and handed him an envelope containing a document supposedly detailing plans for an imminent coup against the government by the Turkish military. However, the documents were found to be forgeries by his colleagues. Gülen affiliates claim the movement is "civic" in nature and that it does not have political aspirations.
In January 2014, during a major corruption enquiry in
In the wake of the coup attempt's failure, during the first post-coup speech Erdoğan could address to the nation upon landing at Atatürk airport, he called the coup a "gift of God" as it would allow him to "cleanse" the army of the Gülen "virus" and create a "new Turkey".
An extensive purge of the Turkish civil service began in the wake of the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt, with President Erdoğan warning his opponents that "they will pay a heavy price for this." The New York Times described the purges as a "counter-coup" and expected the president to "become more vengeful and obsessed with control than ever, exploiting the crisis not just to punish mutinous soldiers but to further quash whatever dissent is left in Turkey".
On 18 July, U.S. State Secretary John Kerry urged Turkish authorities to halt the increasing crackdown on its citizens, indicating that the crackdown was meant to "suppress dissent". French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault voiced concern, warning against a "political system which turns away from democracy" in response to the purges.
The United Nations have been accused of being thus far unresponsive against purges that have involved large numbers of people from a variety of social ranks, while at the same time also failing to condemn the coup and resulting violence due to Egypt's veto against a resolution in that direction.