Turkish leaders are not happy with last week's failed coup, and they're making their feelings known.
The government has suspended, fired or arrested about 50,000 people in what media outlets are calling "a purge" of anyone and everyone who supported the attempt to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Reuters reported. Reporters' licenses have been taken, university employees asked to resign, soldiers detained and staffers laid off since Friday, when a contigent of the military tried to take over in Ankara and Istanbul.
"We will dig them up by their roots so that no clandestine terrorist organization will have the nerve to betray our blessed people again," Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told lawmakers Tuesday, the New York Times reported.
The government is trying to root out and punish supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish scholar living in exile in Pennsylvania and leading the Hizmet movement, which is based on moderate Sunni Islam, according to CNN. Erdogan has accused Gulen of being the mastermind behind Friday's military coup attempt, which killed more than 230 people and briefly sent the president into hiding. Gulen and his followers have denied any connection with Friday's events.
Erdogan has said he wants to "cleanse" all state offices of people linked to the uprising. As such, many of the arrested have been charged with belonging to an armed terrorist group or "attempting to overthrow the government of the Turkish Republic using force and violence or attempting to completely or partially hinder its function," the Hurriyet Daily News reported.
The drastic post-coup actions have some speculating Erdogan will revive Turkey's death penalty, which was abolished in 2004. "Today, is there no capital punishment in America? In Russia? In China? In countries around the world? Only in European Union countries is there no capital punishment," Erdogan said, Al Jazeera reported.
The president was scheduled to make a big announcement on the subject Wednesday.