Many in Turkey and outside have been wondering when they will get rid of the too aggressive Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan or he will change his anti-democratic style. More than 40 percent have not voted for him and his AKP.
He became an absolute Sultan, ignoring the rights and freedom of any opposition and the Kurds in Turkey and the separation from state and Islam like promoted by modern Turkey’s founder Atatürk, even before the coup.
This was the background when members of the traditional Turkish military attempted to overthrow him and his government.
However after a long night, the coup attempt was deemed a failure.
Too few military supported the coup, no one from the opposition parties and not the people on the streets of Istanbul or Ankara.
Now Erdogan hits back at any opposition. The government fired 2745 judges who had nothing to do with the coup.The Ankara chief public prosecutor’s office took 188 top Turkish court officials into custody. They include 140 members of the Supreme Court and 48 members of the Council of State.
The Sultan now wiped out the independent judiciary (essential for any democracy) and becomes a true brutal dictator, due to the failed coup and the silence of Washington and other NATO member countries.
He makes Turkey his private AKP country which has to please the Führer.
A NATO dictatorship with two wars: internal against the Kurds and external in Syria. Threatened by ISIS as well.
Can and should Turkey as a new dictatorship stay in the alliance of democracies called NATO any more? Even become a member in the family of democracies in Europe, called The European Union?
The military coup left 265 dead (including 161 pro-Erdogan policemen and 104 soldiers supporting the coup). 1440 wounded in Turkey
2839 military personnel were arrested
Top General Hulusi Akar was kidnapped by coup leaders
Erdogan told supporters to take to the streets
Soldiers have surrendered, and the coup is over.
It was a long night for those in Turkey, as the events unfolded late in the night, and continued into the morning. Residents heard gunfire until late into the night, as Turkey was the subject of an attempted coup by members of the military. This coup was an expression of the frustration felt by many against Erdogan asserting his authority beyond what he is constitutionally allowed, and his actions to move Turkey from a democracy to a dictatorship. He is known to suppress human rights, and do extremely crazy things.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 16, 2016
The coup began when members of the military blockaded the the bridges over the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, which links part of Istanbul to Europe. The fighting was mainly limited to Istanbul and Ankara, as factions of the military claimed victory, and that a “Peace Council” was now running the country. The military coup was orchestrated “to ensure and restore constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms” according to a statement made by the group. The two generals behind the coup were Akin Ozturk, a former commander of the Air Force, and Metin Iyidil, a lieutenant General. They are both accused of high treason.
President Erdogan, who was away from the city at the time ( he was in the resort town of Marmaris), went online and recorded a statement from his mobile phone, urging average citizens to rise up and help stop this coup. It seems that although he has done some crazy, horrible things in the past, he still has an incredibly strong base of supporters who took to the streets to fight against this. The Turkish President then left for the city, and claimed that after he left Marmaris, his hotel was bombed. In a speech, the Turkish President said “What is being perpetrated is a treason and a rebellion. They will pay a heavy price.”
— Bloomberg (@business) July 15, 2016
The coup was far more serious than many expected, as the Turkish Parliament building in Ankara was bombed, tanks lined the streets, and the airport in Istanbul was shut down. There was even smoke coming from the Presidential Palace.
The military coup was by no means small, they had tanks, helicopters and jets. witnesses reported jets flying incredibly low over the city throughout the night.
It was reported that the military’s top general, Hulusi Akar, who is the Military Chief of Staff was taken hostage by the coup leaders, and he was rescued early this morning.
"Genelkurmay Başkanımız Hulusi Akar sağ salim kurtarıldı ve şu anda Çankaya'da kriz merkezinde görevinin başındadır" pic.twitter.com/cVpDChEd1X
— T.C. Başbakanlık (@TC_Basbakan) July 16, 2016
The state media was quick to declare the coup over, announcing that the government had regained control at 3:30 AM, however, witnesses reported that the fighting was continuing until around 9 AM with sporadic gunfire and the occasional explosion. But now, it seems everything has subsided, and the coup is over. Soldiers have been seen surrendering to police, who had to protect the soldiers from the pro-Erdogan mobs.
Why Did They Fail?
The coup failed for a number of reasons, but mainly because many senior military officials did not take part, and even condemned the violence. The coup failed because Erdogan was able to mobilize the people to act as his own forces to fight against the military. With the military split, the people felt comfortable to fight for Erdogan. If the military leaders had not condemned the attacks, maybe more people would have stayed home and the coup would have been successful.
The other key piece of the coup would be eliminating the role of Erdogan, which is why the chose to strike while he was away from Ankara. If they could have removed Erdogan from the Equation, the sitting government would have been powerless to stop it. But the coup was doomed to fail the moment that Erdogan appeared via FaceTime, calling for supporters to fight back. It was the first time that the government actually seemed in control, and had a chance to stay in power. This was perhaps the biggest blow to the coup.
What Did the World Say?
The world leaders have all come out in support of Turkey, and no major leaders have openly supported the coup attempt.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 16, 2016
The President of the United States has supported this oppressive regime as well:
— Department of State (@StateDept) July 15, 2016
The NATO Secretary general Jens Stoltenberg tweeted:
Just spoke to Turkish FM. I call for calm, restraint & full respect for Turkey's democratic institutions and constitution.
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) July 15, 2016
These leaders have come out in support of a dictator, as they value global stability. With an important refugee agreement as well as recent developments from NATO, a destabilized Turkey could pose a disaster for the coming years.