FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Everything You Need to Know About the Turkey Coup

by

Why was the coup mounted?

This requires assumptions about who carried out the coup. One theory is that the followers of self-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen knew that they were going to be purged and decided to strike first.

Was the coup concocted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to give himself the excuse to crack down?

It is more likely that Mr Erdogan is taking advantage of a real coup to rid the armed forces and key state institutions of all who do not give him full obedience.

He called it “a gift from God” in that it would allow him to do so. An argument against the theory that the coup was a put-up job is that it involved too many people, including high-ranking military officers, and might even have succeeded if the plotters had been able to eliminate Mr Erdogan.

Why did the coup fail?

The plotters did not eliminate Mr Erdogan and did not include the majority of the military high command. They did not enjoy any popular support and did not gain control of communications and the media. They did not have enough soldiers to suppress popular protests in favour of the President. The timing of the coup is also peculiar since it took place late Friday night when people were still up and going outside and not in the early hours of the morning as is traditional.

Is the civilian reaction being orchestrated?

Mr Erdogan successfully orchestrated public protests in order to thwart the coup by calling for them on an iPhone held in front of a television camera. So far as can be judged these were carried out by his committed supporters and right-wing nationalists, the numbers on the streets being boosted by free public transport until Monday night. A feature of the coup was that there were no demonstrations in favour of it because the coup plotters announced a curfew and, in any case, Mr Erdogan’s many opponents do not necessarily want him replaced by a military government.

The mosques also played a significant role in mobilising his constituency by calling people onto the streets and delivering sermons all night long as jets flew overhead. Secular Turks are worried that religiously inspired mobs will become a permanent factor in Turkish politics, but there is no doubt that Mr Erdogan is massively popular among a large part of the Turkish public. An online poll by software company Streetbees shows that in answer to the question of whether or not they wanted the army to seize power 82 per cent said no and 18 per cent said yes. The president may be using the coup for his own ends but there is no doubt that he has a democratic mandate.

Is Turkey still a democracy?

In one sense yes: Mr Erdogan’s AKP party was democratically elected in a general election on 1 November, last year. But he runs an increasingly authoritarian government and has taken over or suppressed most critical television stations and newspapers. Mr Erdogan is getting close to his dream of an all-powerful presidency which controls all the levers of power including the judiciary, armed forces and bureaucracy.

Where does this leave the EU deal and the refugee crisis?

Mr Erdogan is a tough negotiator but has proven himself to be an unreliable partner when it comes to long-term commitments.

How will this affect relations with Russia (after the plane that was shot down, and ahead of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin)?

Before the coup Turkey had effectively apologised for shooting down the plane. Mr Erdogan is trying to reduce Turkey’s international isolation by improving relations with Russia and Israel.

But relations with Russia are unlikely to be transformed so long as Turkey is backing groups seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russia is committed to preventing regime change in Syria.

More articles by:

Patrick Cockburn is the author of  The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Rob Urie
Cannibal Corpse
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castile’s Killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Dave Lindorff
We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Vijay Prashad
The Russian Nexus
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
Gregory Barrett
“Realpolitik” in Berlin: Merkel Fawns Over Kissinger
Louis Yako
The Road to Understanding Syria Goes Through Iraq
Graham Peebles
Grenfell Tower: A Disaster Waiting to Happen
Ezra Rosser
The Poverty State of Mind and the State’s Obligations to the Poor
Ron Jacobs
Andrew Jackson and the American Psyche
Pepe Escobar
Fear and Loathing on the Afghan Silk Road
Andre Vltchek
Why I Reject Western Courts and Justice
Lawrence Davidson
On Hidden Cultural Corruptors
Christopher Brauchli
The Routinization of Mass Shootings in America
Missy Comley Beattie
The Poor Need Not Apply
Martin Billheimer
White Man’s Country and the Iron Room
Joseph Natoli
What to Wonder Now
Tom Clifford
Hong Kong: the Chinese Meant Business
Thomas Knapp
The Castile Doctrine: Cops Without Consequences
Nyla Ali Khan
Borders Versus Memory
Binoy Kampmark
Death on the Road: Memory in Tim Winton’s Shrine
Tony McKenna
The Oily Politics of Unity: Owen Smith as Northern Ireland Shadow Secretary
Nizar Visram
If North Korea Didn’t Exist US Would Create It
John Carroll Md
At St. Catherine’s Hospital, Cite Soleil, Haiti
Kenneth Surin
Brief Impressions of the Singaporean Conjucture
Paul C. Bermanzohn
Trump: the Birth of the Hero
Jill Richardson
Trump on Cuba: If Obama Did It, It’s Bad
Olivia Alperstein
Our President’s Word Wars
REZA FIYOUZAT
Useless Idiots or Useful Collaborators?
Clark T. Scott
Parallel in Significance
Louis Proyect
Hitler and the Lone Wolf Assassin
Julian Vigo
Theresa May Can’t Win for Losing
Richard Klin
Prog Rock: Pomp and Circumstance
Charles R. Larson
Review: Malin Persson Giolito’s “Quicksand”
David Yearsley
RIP: Pomp and Circumstance
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail