Turkey’s post-coup witch-hunt of the Gulen movement followers is tantamount to genocide, Renee Vaugeois, a Canadian human rights specialist said in a recent interview.
“This a targeted war on a specific group of people in Turkey and to me that speaks to genocide,” Vaugeois, the executive director of the Edmonton-based John Humphrey Centre for Peace & Human Rights, told state-run CBC news on Monday.
“We need to support those that are putting themselves in danger to try and figure out how to save their families,” she concluded.
According to CBC news, Vaugeois has recently sent a letter to Canada’s immigration minister Ahmed Hussen urging him to expedite the approval of the permanent residency of a Turkish citizen who fled the witch hunt in Turkey in the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Turkish government accuses the Gulen movement of masterminding the coup attempt while the latter denies involvement. The government has already detained more than 120,000 people over links to the movement, with many human rights groups reported torture and maltreatment on those detainees.
Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tried to mobilize Turkish citizens to report Gulen followers to police. Erdoğan said in a public speech last month that if people affiliated with Turkey’s Gülen group are released from prison after completing their prison terms, the Turkish public will “punish them in the streets.”
On some occasions, pro-government shopkeepers across Turkey hung banners on their premises that read: “Gulen sympathizers not allowed inside.”