Failed Coup in Turkey
We have been witnessing extraordinary events in Turkey nowadays. There have been five military coups in the past 60 years.
However, the last failed coup was different from the previous ones, because this time it was carried out by Gulenist officers and followers in the military.
Who is Gulen and what is his real aim? He was a cleric for a long time in Turkey and became a cult figure for his followers who believe he is the Mahdi.
Over the years, this cult has infiltrated government institutions, in particular the education ministry, security services and judiciary.
Gulenists disguised themselves in a discreet manner, making them almost impossible to be identified. So, most of Turkish people even National Intelligence Organization (MIT) couldn’t detect them.
How did they become so powerful and ravenous? Gulen has identified himself as a moderate Islamic symbol to the world and he has gotten a very warm welcome from the West. He chartered schools in more than 100 countries and used these schools as his recruitment ground.
Over time in Turkey, they strengthened their hold on the army and promoted their officers above others. They had the self-confidence with a belief that they could take over the state. They attempted to instigate a “civilian coup” on December 17 and 25, 2013, during the so-called corruption probe, but they failed.
On the night of the coup attempt, they had planned to launch the coup on Saturday, July 16, at 04.00 local time, but as on July 15, at 16.00, the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) learned about the coup and they informed the Turkish Armed Forces chief of staff. Both chiefs met to stop the coup and prepared an action plan involving sending military units to stop the attempt.
However, the Gulenist militants within the military was so well organized that even the private secretary of the chief of staff was one of them.
The “minority group” within the armed forces used the state’s heavy military weapons and vehicles by targeting civilians and caused serious attacks, seized public institutions, blocked bridges and roads, bombed the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and broadcasted a statement declaring martial law on Turkish National broadcaster, TRT.
The turning point of that brutal attempt was Erdogan’s television appearance through Facetime. He sent his message to the millions of Turkish people. He said this military’s activity was an illegal action against the democratically elected government and urged people to take to the critical points such as Ataturk Airport, Bosphorus bridge, strategic public places and streets and protest against the coup attempt. After that call, in fifteen minutes millions of people rushed into the streets and even though they were under fire, they did not turn back and kept resisting. The opposition party leaders also joined the condemnation of the coup.
There was a serious threat to independence of Turkish citizens so they stood against and defeated the coup of that small crazy group with a societal and political consensus and they took control of the streets and public places. They turned a dark night into a bright morning for Turkish democracy. DEMOCRACY won and the ones with the sinister agenda was not successful once more.
Our Honorable President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that the country will be placed under a “state of emergency” for three months, in response to the failed coup. This is necessary in order to remove swiftly all the elements of terrorist organization involved in the coup attempt. This state of emergency does not mean an increased military presence in the streets or the increasing influence of the army on government and it will not have a direct impact on people’s daily lives as there will be no soldiers patrolling in streets or blocking roads.
Our president Erdogan also tried to reassure the public that military powers will not be expanded, adding that Turkey would emerge as a “stronger nation” following the coup attempt. The Turkish government has already cleared out about 60,000 people from different fields such as the education ministry, security services and judiciary. There have been very selective investigations about the suspected ones and if there are strong proofs they will be fired. The Turkish president also said that he believed foreign countries might have been involved in the failed coup attempt, though he declined to name any.
Now in Turkey almost all Turkish people from different parties unite against this coup attempt. For the first time for a long time, there is a unity and collaboration. This military coup enabled Turkish democracy to grow stronger and more prosperous. All Turkish people are taking a common attitude to support peaceful democratic atmosphere that respects the national will, the rule of law and human rights.
There are lessons to be learned from Turkey’s failed coup. That is to say that the country does not belong to a certain segment of society, but belongs to every citizen. The opposition parties have also important lessons to learn from this attempted coup. They think that most of Erdogan supporters vote for the ruling party because of the food, coal and other types of social welfare handouts they receive. But these people showed that they are united by a common cause and that they are willing to give their lives for their country and president if necessary.
Unfortunately, western media have been broadcasting negative, non- objective and biased news from the beginning of that event. However, this is a kind of victory for more democracy in Turkey and we hope our government will benefit from this success and taking their new steps to unite people from different parties and to bring more democracy.
By Kevser Çınar in Turkey
Kevser is an instructor and PhD candidate in Tourism Management at the Faculty of Tourism of Necmettin Erbakan University in Konya.
The views expressed in this article is of the author and not of PI