Friday, 22 July 2016

Turkey’s Fake Coup: Erdogan’s Tendency to Continue Dictatorship?

Amid the military coup attempt that flared up in Turkey on the night of July 15, 2016, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown on those participating in or supporting it was heavy enough to shadow repercussions on the entire country.

But who was behind it? And why was it dead soon after?
The latest developments storming the Turkish political scene were briefly discussed by journalist Yiğit Günay in an exclusive interview with al-Ahed news.
Commenting on who is behind the coup attempt that was conducted by a portion of the army, Günay estimated that according to the government, it was the Fethullah Gülen network, the religious and political sects that were allies with Erdogan’s party, the AKP, for many years up until 2013.
“In 2013, the alliance between Erdogan and Gülen sect was broken, and since then, the government was calling them Fethullah Gülen “terrorist organization”, persecuting many state officials under the pretext that they are part of the network. So the government claims that they are the ones behind the coup,” Günay said.
He further explained that
“In reality, who is behind the coup? We don’t know. Now we started to learn the physical names of which officials were involved in the attempt. But the motivations and the means of organization and political goals are kind of obscure.
However, he considered that if Gülen was behind the coup, the most reasonable thing that they would do is to reject any ties to it because it has failed.
“Now they are taking measures to protect themselves. It is very predictable that they would reject.”
False Operation?
“We, the Turkish people, are kind of experienced about military coups, and how it goes on practically on the ground. The latest coup was totally weird. Most of the important institutions were left out, but almost not a single political official leader was detained. Everybody was speaking on the televisions. Because of this, there is right now a kind of a theory that claims it may be a false operation by Erdogan to strengthen his position enough right now because it is certain that in the upcoming days and weeks and months we will see real surge of the Islamic thought. Erdogan’s government was in that shape, it was politically in a very bad position.”
Whether it is reasonable or not, Günay mentioned that he had some basic knowledge that the number of soldiers of the armed forces participating in the coup attempt was not really enough to take the control of 8 million people.
“It was mainly centered in Istanbul and Ankara. For example, in the proper coup, you would expect the army to go to the parliament with hundreds of soldiers and then they just keep on the politicians there and keep the parliament building under their control. However, shooting fire from helicopters to the building doesn’t make sense. It is not how coups were staged before in Turkey.”
“It gives us the idea that it was not the majority of the army that participated in the coup. And after Erdogan’s appearance, when he began to speak over the phone to televisions, we witnessed senior generals also calling the televisions and condemning the attempt. So the question was: is it under the chain of command of the army or not?”
If it is under the chain of command, then it is practically possible for the army to really take over control. But then, with the appearance of Erdogan, the government had the psychological upper hand, and then they called the people on the streets, Günay added.
Whether any other similar incidents are likely to take place in the country, Günay said he doesn’t think that other flare ups would be possible in the coming days, but of course, it is a coup, and you cannot predict it. When you can predict it, then it is different.
“Right now, my estimation about what we will see in the upcoming days is a counter-coup by the AKP government because Erdogan’s dictatorial eagerness did not really have legitimacy. The main missing part of Erdogan’s political goals was legitimacy.”
Günay further expressed that despite the fact that Erdogan’s ruling won the majority of the votes, he still didn’t win the legitimacy in the country. The coup attempt has given him avery strong card to play to increase that legitimacy, and it will be much harder for the opposition to continue their struggle ideologically and politically, and probably also physically, because the coup was also an explosion in the decisiveness of the “Islamist” groups in Turkey.
However, in the meantime, Günay thinks that we will see quite the opposite. Erdogan’s rein will increase, and one of the main problems that Erdogan wouldn’t be able to solve is the issue of presidency.
In Turkey it is not like the American type of presidency.
The president here is the leader of the political party and has the authority over the government and the parliament. Erdogan has been trying to change the political regime for quite some time, and he could not really find the support and legitimacy to do it.
In all, Günay considered that the coup attempt increased Erdogan’s hopes to continue the dictatorial tendencies he has, “we will see, but it is still a little bit early to comment on this.”
Journalist Yiğit Günay

* Yiğit Günay is a freelance journalist based in Turkey. He has a master degree in art history, abachelor degree in political science and international relations, and he has also studied Spanish language and Literature.
Source: al-Ahed News
21-07-2016 | 13:36
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