Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters gathered in front of his residence in Istanbul, early Tuesday, July 19, 2016. (Kayhan Ozer/Pool Photo via AP)
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The move by a faction inside the army triggered an eruption of nationalist and Islamist feeling in support of Erdogan that has emboldened the government to unleash a crackdown.Erdogan's spokesman said a formal request was being drawn up.Some 35,000 members of the army, police, judiciary and civil service have been detained or suspended on suspicion of Gulenist links since the abortive coup, during which more than 230 people were killed.The failed coup shook the leadership to the core and came close to eliminating Erdogan and other top figures.Some Turkey analysts say Erdogan – who said he narrowly missed being assassinated by the mutineers – is using the revolt as a pretext to extend and consolidate his power.Erdogan's aides dismiss such claims.Some public figures critical of Erdogan are keeping a low profile.Despite the rallying of the main opposition parties behind Erdogan as the army mutiny unfolded, there are fears among secularists that the country, already divided over the AK Party's increasingly emphatic Islamism, will drift further toward more populist religious politics and a tighter autocratic structure.
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