The police chief on the run from Erdogan: how Turkey’s democratic triumph became a purge

Erdogan supporters on the night of the attempted coup

Sadik helped arrest the plotters of the failed coup of 15 July 2016. But soon he was under suspicion himself.

From the age of 14, Sadik* dreamed of joining the Turkish police force. He attended police college straight after secondary school and quickly worked his way up to police chief, a position he then held for almost two decades. During this time, he gained global experience, taking part in United Nations Peacekeeping operations and representing Turkey at international meetings. He received pay rises and certificates of appreciation, as well as a United Nations Medal for Service.

Sadik was a model police chief. His performance mark was always over 90 per cent and he never had any disciplinary penalties or even complaints about his work. Due to his global experience and connections, he was tasked with making sure Turkey was in line with the rule of law, as part of its bid to join the European Union.

In July 2016, Sadik’s family – his wife and two young children – were on vacation. It was the summer holidays, but as he only had a few days annual leave, he did not join them. Thus, on the night of 15 July 2016, he was home alone in the capital city of Ankara when he received a call from a friend, who exclaimed that she had seen F-16 fighter jets flying at a very low altitude around Çankaya, an area of the city. Shocked, Sadik said he would call her back. It was then that he turned on the national news. The anchor woman seemed nervous, shuffling her papers. Then the TV began to broadcast footage of soldiers amassing on a famous Istanbul bridge. Sadik switched on his police radio, and discovered the city police director and deputy were transmitting orders. He quickly …read more

Source:: New Statesman


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