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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Turkish rebellion: the fifth in the last decade, the intervention of the military in politics

“Act of treason”, – so the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the coup attempt, which was carried out by military rebels. According to the latest data, the victims of the coup and its suppression were at least 90 people (police and civilian), killed more than 100 participants of the coup, over a thousand were injured. Arrested hundreds of soldiers involved in the mutiny. Who could be behind the failed coup? Why the Turkish military is traditionally involved in politics?

What happened?

Late evening Friday,15 July, a group of army officers with the support of several military units had attempted to seize power by force in the country, having established control over Ankara and Istanbul. President of the Republic of Armenia at this time was in holiday on the Aegean coast in the South-West of the country. In Ankara, the military flew the planes and vertolety in the capital was introduced armored vehicles. In Istanbul the military were blocked by the two bridges over the Bosphorus. Members of the coup tried to take over the buildings of the authorities, the staffs of the editorial Board of the largest media hubs.

Live TV channel TRT was read a message that all the power in Turkey comes under the control of the “peace Council” for the sake of Turkey’s democracy and the rule of law. The participants of the coup announced plans preparation of a new Constitution.

However, loyal to President Erdogan the power division managed to seize the initiative in their hands and within a few hours to crush the resistance of rebels. On the side of the authorities remained a big part of aviation, police, special forces, intelligence, 1st army. Also support for the President had his loyal citizens, many of whom took to the streets and clashed with the rebels.

Erdogan, whose whereabouts for the time time in hiding, arrived at the Istanbul Ataturk airport, where he addressed the nation. His first appearance before the public was unusual, his statement aired on TV via mobile phone. Marmaris, from where he flew to Istanbul was bombed by the coup, media reported.

Who could be behind the coup attempt?

Hot on the heels is difficult to judge about those figures who are behind the coup. But Turkish President Erdogan actually accused of organizing a military coup known Islamic preacher and social activist Fethullah Gullen, which at one time contributed greatly to the arrival of Erdogan to power, but eventually turned into his main political opponent. Seventy-Gulen lives in exile in the United States, in Pennsylvania (not by chance, speaking of the instigators of the coup, Erdogan referred to “those who in Pennsylvania”), has a fairly mixed reputation. On the one hand, he criticizes religious extremism and radicalism, on the other, he criticized as a supporter of radical methods. While Time magazine included him a few years ago one of the 100 most influential people on Earth. In Erdogan’s Turkey consider him to be the instigator of all opposition actions and the government spends a consistent attack on obvious and imaginary Gulen’s supporters in various areas (from schools to the media). Authorities accuse Gulen of creating a “parallel” or “deep state”.

At the same time, on the background of the accusations against Gulen in the preparation of the coup his supporters call the allegations unfounded.

What preceded the coup attempt?

The confrontation between the military and Erdogan began long ago – in fact, since his rise to power.

In 2007, in Turkey was begun about the secret organization “Ergenekon”, which according to the prosecution, he introduced his people in all spheres of Turkish society and tried to lead the army, the media, political parties and academia. During the investigation, he was arrested hundreds of people – retired military, businessmen and famous public figures.

In 2003 to life in prison were sentenced for the organization of “Ergenekon”, the former head of the General staff of Turkish army Ilker başbuğ, hundreds of the defendants in the case received prison terms. Participants in the “conspiracy,” was accused of plotting a coup against the then head of the Cabinet of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The figure of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which enjoys the support of the majority of Turks, at the same time, causes a sharp rejection of various kinds of opposition, accusing him of various sins, from involvement in corruption schemes to the desire to impose in Turkey under the guise of a presidential Republic, its own dictatorship.

First, whether it is in the history of modern Turkey military coup?

The military historically regarded in Turkey as the guardians established by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the secular foundations of the Republic. Since the establishment of the Turkish Republic, the armed forces staged three military coups in 1960, 1971 and 1980.

The result of the coup of 1960 was not only the displacement of the ruling elite, but also the hanging of Prime Minister Adnan Menderes. In 1971, the army made the resignation of another coalition government and transfer of authority on a temporary basis to a neutral room. And in 1980 against the background of the country sliding into the abyss of political violence was a coup d’etat by the head of the General staff General Kenan Evrenos and for three years after that, Turkey was ruled by the armed forces during the coup were arrested thousands of people, hundreds sentenced to death, was banned parties and trade unions.

In 1997, the military did attempt to influence the political development of the country – 28 February, representatives of the armed forces, who spoke for the preservation of secular foundations of the state, at a meeting of the national security Council voiced their own demands, resulting in a Memorandum of 18 points, and actually forced the Prime Minister of the Islamist Necmettin Erbakan to resign. These events went down in history as the “postmodern coup.” We note here that Erbakan was one of the founders of Turkey’s “political Islam” and mentor of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Coup in Turkey. Chronicle of events

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