Attempted military coup in Turkey has been quelled

by omouggos

It has been an eventful couple of hours in Turkey to say the least. A portion of the military staged a coup on Friday night lasting into the wee hours of Saturday. The mutinous military men made an official statement via Turkish station NTV saying their intention was to “reinstall the constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms, … to ensure that the rule of law once again reigns in the country, for the law and order to be reinstated.”[1] They also vowed to bring to trial those who “have betrayed” Turkey.

For a few hours it looked as if the coup was to succeed.[2] Tanks and soldiers took to the streets of several cities including Ankara and Istanbul, and a curfew was imposed. Internet sites such as youtube, facebook and twitter were blocked. A top ranking general was arrested. In the confusion there was uncertainty on the fate of President Erdoğan himself. Some reports stated that Erdoğan was taken to a secure location in Marmara by his security detail, others that he was outside of the country seeking refuge in Germany or Italy, while another that he was actually captured by the coup forces.

However, it is now apparent that Erdoğan has regained political and military control of Turkey and the coup d’état foiled. With the situation secure he landed at Ataturk airport and gave a speech basically saying he wasn’t going anywhere and that the Gulenists were to be blamed for the attempted coup.[3] The reason for the failure of the coup were many. First, only a portion of the military had mutinied, other portions were still loyal to Erdoğan as were the Turkish intelligence apparentus and the police. Second, Erdoğan was out of the country and as such could not be captured by the coup forces, which enabled the President to organize resistance against the coup. During a facetime speech Erdoğan emphatically stated that “I am the president” and called on his supporters to take to the streets and resist the usurpers.[4] Third, the President’s supporters answered his call and did in fact take to the street in resistance. And fourth the opposition political parties, the CHP and MHP, openly denounced the coup attempt.[5]

For these reasons Erdoğan was able to quell the attempted coup,[6] although significant fighting was needed to do so. There were reports that Erdoğan’s palace was the scene of clashes and that at least 60 were killed, including civilians who were fired upon by the rebel forces and at least 16 of the latter.[7] Thus far at over 1,500 military personnel, including it is believed high ranking officers, have been detained due to their involvement in the coup attempt.[8] Erdoğan has vowed that those involved in the plot to usurp him “will pay for what they did” and that “This attempted uprising will get its answer from the law and they will be given an answer in the judicial system. They should know that in this country the law will be maintained.”[9]

At face value it appears that those involved in the coup attempt were probably secularists who were opposed to Erdoğan’s desire to change the Turkish constitution to give himself more power and were also likely against his Islamist tendencies. It is also possible that they were associated with the Gullenist movement, as alleged by Erdoğan. However, it has been argued by some that the coup attempt was a false flag by Erdoğan himself, an attempt by him to consolidate his power to further his desire to create his new Ottoman Empire.[10] This could very well be the case as in my opinion, and others, Erdoğan is more than calpable of such a reichstag fire like event. But, it is also possible that this was an actual attempt to usurp Erdoğan.

In either case Erdoğan now appears more secure in his power than ever before and will undoubtedly be able to further his tyrannical neo-Ottoman agenda with minimal resistance. If this was a real coup attempt then those who are against Erdoğan in the military, the very people who have the actual means and mentality to resist him, have been been exposed and detained. Thus they are no longer a threat. Furthermore, the events of July 15-16 illustrate that Erdoğan has significant support among the Turkish people, who were willing to take to the streets and risk their lives for him, and significant elements of the Turkish security apparatus.

While, the unexpected is always a possibility in Turkey, as evinced by the coup attempt itself, it now appears that the road has been cleared for Erdoğan to implement his agenda. Once the mutineers have been judicially dealt with, look for Erdoğan to use the coup attempt to help buttress his claim that Turkey needs a Presidential system to deal with the nation’s problems and to prevent future political and military unrest. Once Erdoğan has his Presidential system, which he will obtain by hook or by crook, then expect him to begin furthering his designs for a neo-Ottoman empire.

For a moment today it appeared that Erdoğan’s dreams may have been squashed, but ultimately he was able to over come the coup attempt and now he is firmly in power. All I can say is to keep paying attention to the ongoings in Turkey and the Middle East, for things are about to get interesting, even more so than usual.

O Mouggos





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