Iran backs Turkey’s Erdogan as massive crackdown widens

A senior aide to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Teheran backs Turkey’s elected government and expects Ankara to do the same when it comes to Syria.

“We disagree with Turkey on some issues, like Syria. We are hopeful that the Turkish government respects the Syrian people’s opinion and votes and lets the Syrian nation choose their government,” Ali Akbar Velayati was quoted as saying by the Tasnim news agency.

Meanwhile, Erdogan’s government continued its crackdown on alleged coup plotters, with more than 7,500 people now under arrest. The crackdown on military officials was expanded to include police, judges, governors and civil servants.

The Turkish Interior Ministry on July 18 moved to suspend nearly 9,000 employees, raising the number of bureaucrats fired or detained to nearly 20,000. Also on July 18, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim suspended annual leave for more than 3 million civil servants.

“We are seeing a movement towards more authoritarianism,” said Marc Pierini of the Brussels-based think tank Carnegie Europe. This, in particular, “is a dangerous moment for Turkey,” Pierini said of the attempted coup’s aftermath. “There are quite a few disturbing things happening.”

Full article: Iran backs Turkey’s Erdogan as massive crackdown widens (World Tribune)

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