LONDON — In the hours after his loyal supporters suppressed an insurrection of military officers last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the bloodiest coup attempt in Turkish history a “gift from God” that would allow him to “cleanse our army.”
In nearly a month since the uprising, Erdogan has sought to clean out almost every institution that lies within his reach.
Some 60,000 people from the armed forces, judiciary, academia and even sports have been fired, suspended or jailed. The president has even floated the idea of restoring capital punishment — a move that would effectively halt Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union.
But if the president and his supporters hope that his sweeping purge will coup-proof the military, they may only succeed in weakening it and distancing it further from its powerful ally in Washington, according to analysts and close observers of Turkey’s military.