Coup Attempt in Turkey
The Islamist-leaning Erdogan government in Turkey is right now in chaos, with a military coup attempt underway as I pen this piece. While the results of this coup are not yet known, I can offer a bit of background in the meantime, and provide some sense of who might be the “good guys” and “bad guys” here.
I of course make no claims to being an expert on Turkey, but I can offer some basic facts of history and religion here, and at least provide some general sense of how and why this coup is now taking place. More will have to be written as we learn about the success or failure of this attempt at deposing Erdogan.
While a long time Islamic stronghold for centuries as part of the Ottoman Empire, modern Turkey became a basically secular, democratic nation in 1923 under the leadership of General Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. He brought in many reforms and policies of liberalisation.
Turkey joined the UN in 1945, joined NATO in 1952, and an application process to join the EU began in 2005. Recep Tayyip Erdogan served as the Prime Minister of Turkey from 2003 to 2014 and became president in 2014, with just over 50 per cent of the vote. He has been more of a dictator than a democrat, certainly in the eyes of his opponents.
The military has long been an anchor here, preferring to keep Turkey a modern, secular nation. It – or key elements of it – wants Turkey to revert to its more secular status under Ataturk, and to turn away from the increased Islamism of Erdogan. And bear in mind that there have been a number of coups and coup attempts over the past half century in Turkey.
There may be good reason for this latest attempt: Islamic terrorism has been increasing at home and abroad under Erdogan, including funding of IS terrorists. Democratic freedoms – including the wellbeing of minorities such as Christians – have been weakened in recent years.
His jailing of journalists and opposition figures has worried many as he consolidates his power. For these and related reasons, the coup attempt is now underway. To keep Turkey from moving into a full-blown Islamist and anti-democratic regime, the military has decided to act.
Turkey is of course a very strategic nation for many reasons. It is the buffer nation between Europe and Asia. It is bordered by Bulgaria and Greece on the West, and Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq and Syria on the east. As a NATO member, an ally of the West, and a secular Islamic nation, it is crucial in geopolitical relations.
So there is a real war for the soul of Turkey, both as a nation and for its international position. And as is so often the case, Western nations which are clueless about Islam, or have in fact aided and abetted it, are now calling for the status quo in Turkey. Whether it is America’s Obama or Germany’s Merkel or the NATO Secretary-General, they are all siding with Erdogan here, despite how bad he is for the West and for freedom.
As to the coup, it seems to be a rather unorganised and clumsy affair. How well thought out and planned and coordinated it was will soon enough be seen. Plenty of confusion abounds at the moment. Erdogan had been on vacation at the Black Sea and is now reported to have been flown into Istanbul.
The military now has control of some state broadcasting facilities, and some airports. There is gunfire on the streets of Istanbul and the capital Ankara. Explosions have been heard in the Parliament building. Pro-Erdogan groups are confronting the military on the streets in some places.
So it is early days here in terms of the outcome. The coup may well yet fail. If it does, Erdogan will crack down even further, and there will be even more Islamisation of the nation and the region. And that means there will be even more instability in the Middle East – and that is never a good thing.
If Erdogan wins we all lose. If the military coup wins, we may have some breather space here. There may then be some hope for Turkey and the entire region. Time will tell. Indeed, within minutes of posting this, things may change radically.
11 Replies to “Coup Attempt in Turkey”
Yes, the military is likely to be a far better bet than an Islamist despot. As above, it was Kemal Pasha, the ANZACs’ chivalrous nemesis, who abolished the Ottoman Caliphate. Erdo?an wants it back.
Thanks Bill for this. I was wondering what was going on in Turkey.
Thanks guys. A number of folks have been suggesting that this coup attempt may in fact be an Erdogan set-up job to further consolidate his power. Here is one for example:
This just but one example of nations becoming more and more anarchic, with the realization that democracy as a humanist construct just does not work. Make way for the tyrants like Erdogan.
France along with all Western nations are looking increasingly unstable having been paralyzed by political correctness, where ordinary people feel impotent to defend themselves against both gay and Mohammedan militants. To avoid a sudden explosion of a popular uprising, as the populace wake up to how many of their freedoms have been lost, all Western governments are involved in the management of a deliberate and controlled dismantling of society, backed up the police and military. The whole edifice has to be brought down with the minimum of dust and co-lateral damage, but with the ultimate aim of bringing in the strong man, or as the Bible calls him, the man of lawlessness.
Thank you for the clear explanation about what is happening in Turkey. It is very welcome as we cannot rely on the politically correct reports of the MSM.
Thanks Bill for this clear analysis. I have a close ‘secular’ Muslim friend who absolutely loathes Erdogan. I think if she represents the majority of Turkey, and I’m sure she does, there would be very few upset if Erdogan was removed. However, Shoebat’s analysis seems to make sense. Another of the huge global jigsaw pieces moving into place.
And here is a good assessment of the worrying consequences of this failed coup:
I was just wondering about this today. Thanks Bill.
I have no doubt that this coup is the calculated construct of Erdogan to consolidate his power and to remove all opposition.
1 You do not start a coup when the leader you want to remove is safely in another country
2 You do not start a coup at 10 pm at night, you start a coup very early in the morning when everyone is asleep in their beds and cannot respond in a coordinated way
3 The military were very half hearted about it all and it was on a very small scale
4 You target the airports and remove the top brass and close down the media as your first step. None of this happened
5 The coup lasted only a few hours, a legitimate uprising would have lasted a few days at least before it was crushed
6 Erdogan was not at all surprised, he was ready, and had 2,700 judges successfully arrested within hours
7 Erdogan called on the mob to attack the military
8 The mob has turned and massacred the military
9 Erdogan flies back in to Turkey in under 24 hours, to a hero’s welcome, being lauded by Obama, Merkel and other leaders
10 He has removed ALL opposition to his dictatorship and is free to act totally as he wills now
11 Erdogan has called on America to hand over a Turkish cleric called Gulan who lives in Pennsylvania or has threatened war against America, saying Gulan is the man behind the plot. Gulan is a moderate in muslim terms and small beer
11 Erdogan has already titled himself Caliph of all the Ottomans (an area which includes much of North Africa, all the Middle East including Iran and parts of Pakistan, up into the former Soviet Union and a large part of Europe)
12 And is now inviting himself to be addressed as god
13 Think of Hitler and the Night of the Long Knives where he removed Ernst Rohm and his stormtroopers to consolidate his power or Mao Tse Tung and his cultural revolution where he used the mob to remove the middle class and the intellectuals who stood between himself and total despotic rule, this is no different !
Please don’t be fooled by the main stream media, this whole situation has been orchestrated by Erdogan and his friends and the fact that the foreign governments are not aware of this is somewhat unbelievable ! In fact I do believe Obama and Merkel et al are just as aware of what is really happening as we are, there are overtones and undertones of the ‘Arab Spring’ so called here.
This is a huge shift in the spiritual.
Erdogan has apparently now blamed the Armenian’s and invaded Armenia and surrounded a police station just over the border. Also I believe the so called coup was middle ranking military officers acting on ‘orders’ to close the bridges in Istanbul with tanks. It just doesn’t stack up as a real ‘coup’.
An interesting eyewitness account by a Turkish Jew living in Istanbul