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Turkey creates ‘Traitors’ Cemetery’ for dead coup plotters

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STANBUL (AP) — Tucked in the back corner of a construction site for a new dog shelter in eastern Istanbul lies a freshly dug, unmarked grave — the first in the new “Traitors’ Cemetery,” created specifically to hold the bodies of coup plotters who died in the July 15 abortive putsch.

In the week following the attempted coup in Turkey, which killed about 290 people, the municipality announced it intended to set up a cemetery specifically for those involved — people that officials have branded as traitors undeserving of a proper burial. About 24 coup plotters are believed to have been killed that night.

Authorities would “reserve a spot and call it a traitors’ cemetery. Passers-by will curse them,” Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas said in remarks carried by the Dogan News Agency. “May every passer-by curse them and let them not rest in their tombs.”

The creation of the cemetery comes amid a widespread crackdown in the aftermath of the coup. Nearly 16,000 people have been detained, including about 10,000 military personnel; displays of patriotism abound, with many Turks flying national flags from the windows of their apartments or cars; and nightly pro-government rallies are held in cities across the country.

Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs issued a directive denying funeral prayers and services for those who died while trying to overthrow the government. Such prayers, it said, were intended for the faithful as an act of exoneration, “but these people, with the action they undertook, have disregarded not just individuals but also the law of an entire nation and therefore do not deserve exoneration from the faithful.” – READ MORE

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