Back to school in Turkey after post-coup teacher purge

by Garry Watts September 22, 2016, 3:20

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday demanded worldwide action against the US-exiled preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom he accuses of orchestrating an aborted coup d'etat against him.

"It should not be forgotten that the coup attempt in Turkey was aimed at world democracy as well", he said.

Turkey's goal "is likely to require the deployment of thousands of Turkish soldiers in Syria for years and increase risks of a possible military confrontation with the Syrian forces", Nihat Ali Ozcan, a strategist at the Economic Policy Research Foundation in Ankara, told Bloomberg.

"Access to the Turkey-Syria border region is strategically important to ISIL's operations in Syria and Iraq as well", Davis said, using a common acronym for the Islamic State.

In Kurdish-majority Diyarbakir, almost 100 teenage students held a sit-in to protest against the suspensions in the city's main square shouting slogans including "We want our teacher back".

"It's not one organization with one worldview or even one perspective and point of view about the fight going on in Syria", he said.

Syrian rebel factions deeply distrust the Kurdish-led forces, who they accuse of forced expulsions and property destruction, and whose territorial ambitions in northern Syria they read as an assault on a future unified Syria. Turkey has pushed for a no-fly zone in Syria.

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Last month Turkey launched the so-called "Euphrates Shield" mission to recapture the northern Syrian town of Jarablus.

"But Turkey will not act unilaterally to liberate Raqqa".

Separately, the Pentagon announced that a US airstrike near Raqqa, Syria, on September 7 killed an Islamic State leader it identified as Wa'il Adil Hasan Salman al-Fayad.

The July 15 coup attempt occurred when rogue elements in the Turkish military tried to overthrow the country's democratically elected government.

Erdogan also said that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Turkey believes that no lasting peace can be achieved in Syria without removal of President Bashar al-Assad from power.

So far the Turkish authorities have sent two requests for extradition of Gulen from the U.S. However, the sides were not able to agree on the issue.

"This is what we have been asking at every meeting - without ground operation, you can not defeat this bloody terrorist organization..."

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