Rights group criticizes Turkey over post-coup clampdown

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A human rights group says the Turkish government used last year's failed military coup to launch an expansive crackdown that swept up peaceful critics and undermined democracy.

Human Rights Watch's report released on Thursday said that the July 15 botched coup was no excuse for the scale of the clampdown against critics and opponents that followed.

HRW's Europe and Central Asia director, Hugh Williamson, says that "with hundreds of thousands of people dismissed or detained without due process, an independent media silenced and Kurdish opposition members of parliament in jail, Turkey has been plunged into its worst crisis in a generation."

A senior Turkish official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government rules that bar civil servants from speaking to journalists without prior authorization, categorically rejected the claims.