(CNN)Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made clear he will show no mercy.
Just days after a failed military coup that broke out into deadly violence, talks of reintroducing the death penalty have revived, more than 7,000 people have been arrested and some of the very institutions responsible for the country’s security have been gutted.
Of those detained, dozens were photographed at horse stables, forced to their knees, stripped to the waist in humiliation.
As Erdogan responds to the failed coup with an iron fist, Turkey is now faced with the question of what kind of democracy it wants to have.
Erdogan is wasting no time to “cleanse” the country’s security forces of “viruses,” as he put it, vowing that those behind the attempt to overthrow his government “will pay a very heavy price for this act of treason.”
A total of 8,777 officers have already been removed from the Turkish Interior Ministry, the vast majority of them police officers, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Of those arrested are 103 generals and admirals, a third of the general-rank command of the Turkish military, according to Anadolu,
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- How night of mayhem unfolded
- Video shows night of tumult
- View from Istanbul’s streets
- How it affects U.S. and Nato
- Extradition could harm U.S. ties
Judges, lawyers, senior aides and police are among those detained, while eight soldiers who fled to Greece are waiting to hear their fate, as no bilateral extradition agreement exists between the countries.
In addition to those detained, Erdogan is demanding the United States arrest or extradite Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen,
whom he blamed for the attempt to overthrow the government.
“Twenty years ago, I clearly stated my support for democracy and I said that there is no return from democracy in Turkey,” Gulen said Saturday. “My position on democracy is really clear. Any attempts to overthrow the country is a betrayal to our unity and is treason.”
, who is living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, denied he had anything to do with it.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States hadn’t yet received a formal request from Turkey for Gulen’s extradition.