What is going on in Turkey?

Lemme explain. The current Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been trying to move towards a more authoritarian government. Despite his charismatic nature, and economic improvements in Turkey, he has been slowly taking away freedom of speech. This has caused an uprise of political protests. Although he was said to have “tamed the military” an attempted coup still happened, the fifth in the last half century or so. During this coup, the military said they wanted to establish a more democratic system, but so far they have tried to use martial law. In order to stop this, the Prime Minister, even though he was on vacation in the south side of Turkey, still tried to stop the coup. He called CNN Turk in a Skype call, which they aired, telling the people to go out on the streets and protests. This resulted in the deaths of over 150 people. Although Erdogan was not in control of the military, he still used law enforcement to arrest 2,800 officers, and this morning soldiers abandoned their gear and surrendered. For the time being, it seems as if Recep Tayyip Erdogan has re-established control over Turkey, which is good, considering that the U.S. cannot cooperate with a country whose government was the product of a coup, and we need Turkey’s cooperation to stop ISIS. If you want to still go to Turkey, just keep up with news about that country, and decide whether it looks safe or not. Sorry this was a little long.

So the US don’t cooperate with Egypt? And what about some African regimes?

"Nearly 3,000 soldiers have been detained and some 2,700 judges sacked as the government re-asserts power. "

Why were about no less than 2,700 judges sacked without due process of law? This is very strange.

My turkish friends are themselves divided over whether this was a genuine coup attempt or a plot masterminded by Erdoğan. Either scenario is plausible depending on how one interprets the events. Personally, I think that it was a genuine attempt, just poorly executed. The Gulenist faction in the army and judiciary knew their days were numbered, because in a few weeks a national security council meeting is to be chaired, in which it was rumored that all Gulen sympathizers would be purged. So I believe they made a last-ditch attempt to get rid of Erdoğan before being deposed themselves. I think that they gambled on gaining public support, because so many people hate Erdoğan. Once they realized that there was zero public support for a coup (even amongst Erdoğan opponents, let alone all domestic political parties and all international actors), they chose to give up instead of pursue a civil war that they couldn’t win

Process of law is a very fluid concept in some of these countries :slight_smile: Erdoğan has been ignoring the very constitution when it doesn’t suit him

I am biased because I love living in Turkey, but there are plenty of reasons to come here. It is much more European and open-minded than people realize. Until recently it was the 5th-most visited country in the world by tourists. I have never met a tourist who didn’t love it here

Whether it was a real coup attempt or not, what is sure is that it will strengthen Erdogan. People will vote his referendum and give him more power, he will get rid of the last people who are not his supporters in the army, among the judges or the scholars. If he waits for a few more coup attempts, he may even manage to become Sultan.

Seeing that newsreader announcing there had been a coup has at least made me want to learn Turkish!

The new situation will surely threaten the EU-Turkey refugee deal? If so will there could now be a new surge of refugees heading for Europe.

I think that the refugee deal will hold up still. I, for one, am sceptical that they will even bring capital punishment back, much less sentence the coup plotters to death. Despite Erdoğan’s bluster, there have been signs in the last year that he finally realized that he wasn’t fooling the international arena anymore (ie, claiming he is democratic while clamping down on freedoms and opposition at the same time). He also has seemed to realize that his international reputation is in tatters and that he had no significant friends in the global political arena anymore. As much as he criticizes the west, he also realizes that he needs them. So, I doubt he will execute anybody over this coup attempt, because that would deal another blow to his already sinking reputation internationally.

“The swift rounding up of judges and others indicated the government had prepared a list beforehand, the EU commissioner dealing with Turkey’s membership bid, Johannes Hahn, said.”–REUTERS

Was the failed coup attempted to stop the coup that had been planned by the president?

Normally I discount conspiracy theories. But there are aspects to this situation that do look…I dunno…a bit “odd”.

At the very least, I reckon that Erdogan and his cronies already had a big hit list of folks in the military and judiciary that they wanted to rub out, should the opportunity arise.

As tmclernon said there is to be a council within a few weeks and it was said Gulen supporters would be purged on that occasion. In any case we can be sure Erdogan and his friends have been doing lists in the last few years with all the people they think “aren’t with them”.

It’s quite frightening to see Turkey, which was always cited as an example in the last decade, take the path of dictatorship so quickly. It is the country that most sends journalists to jail, a lot of scholars have been sacked, and after an attempt coup the first thing they do is to sack judges (were they in the tanks too?).

The more I read, the more I’m convinced that there was no conspiracy here. One of Erdoğan’s top aides (who would have probably been in the know) was killed while protesting the coup, along with the aide’s son. Several plotters were killed when their helicopter was shot down. Surely they wouldn’t have volunteered to die.
However, you are absolutely right when you say that the government has a list of Gulen supporters. This coup was like a gift from the heavens for Erdoğan, and he will take full advantage of it to purge them.

Yeah I thought it was a conspiracy at first but I believe that it was real, now.

One interesting question I have is how they will replace the thousands of judges and civil servants that they purge. There aren’t necessarily 3000 qualified judges waiting in the wings. As an example, I am a teacher in Turkey. The Education ministry has always been notoriously difficult to deal with, but a couple years ago they purged many suspected Gulenists from the ministry and replaced them with people who really had no idea what they were doing. It was even more chaotic and very frustrating for all involved

But do they need good judges or judges who support them?

“Sauve qui peut.”

“The once-powerful Turkish military had been diminished after a series of previous purges, and is now more than ever on the defensive. Its old self-appointed role as protector of the constitution, of secularism, of the legacy of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, is in tatters.”–CNN

Ok, conference is cancelled.

Das ist ja eine Überraschung…

Ik dacht het al.