Turkish military coup fails, repression follows


This video says about itself:

Turkey: Aftermath of a Failed Coup

18 July 2016

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to purge state bodies of the “virus” that had caused the revolt, after the failed military coup on Friday.

TURKEY’S President Erdogan has called the just concluded coup attempt that saw parliament bombed and 250 people killed ‘a gift from God… because this will be a reason to cleanse our army’. This is what is now happening with 6,000 people detained including 3,000 soldiers arrested (among them 50 senior officers). The whole of the state apparatus is now being purged with 2,700 judges sacked in the last 24 hours: here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

People power is what’s needed now

Monday 18th July 2016

WE CAN be glad that the attempted coup in Turkey at the weekend failed as quickly as it did. The toll of 265 dead, while barbaric for a military clique’s Friday-night adventure, could also have been much higher.

There are many complaints to be made of Turkey’s conservative-Islamist AKP government but an armed takeover would have plunged the country further into darkness.

It is laudable that all opposition parties condemned the coup, but particularly strong is the statement made by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) that it was “opposed to any kind of coup under any circumstances and as a principle.”

It is indeed a principled statement, given the renewed oppression and bloody assaults perpetrated by the government against the country’s Kurdish minority, for which the HDP stands up.

The party’s prescription in response to the coup is clear-sighted: deepening Turkey’s democracy and ending the division of society that the AKP has both nurtured and fed off.

Regrettably, the AKP is unlikely to take this path. Instead there are signs that it will use the takeover bid to further its existing goals.

The government’s response so far has been to blame the followers of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who had a falling out with AKP chiefs some years ago.

There appear to be a fair few Gulen supporters in the Turkish Establishment who’ve chosen to make life difficult for the AKP.

Turkish commentators seem sceptical that the Gulenists are behind the putsch, as the wording of a statement read out on television by the plotters appealed to Kemalist principles — those of the country’s first president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

That those principles include secularism, as opposed to the Islamism of the AKP, should not derail the thinking of progressives.

The horrors that resulted from the 1980 takeover, when leftwingers in particular were crushed under the boot of the state while the pro-IMF military government pushed through reforms to aid big business, should disabuse people of any support for a coup.

Let’s not forget, either, that bloody attacks on Turkey’s Kurdish population are hardly the preserve of the AKP.

Government forces have periodically massacred the Kurds for a century while trying to wipe out their social and cultural existence.

And while Turkish support for Syrian Islamists is well documented, the country for long before was one of the US’s “cops on the beat” in the region. (It’s also worth recalling the US suggestion that the Turkish military overthrow the government after it refused to back the Iraq war in 2003.)

The words of Turkey’s Communist Party should be borne in mind by any interested in peace and justice: “It is a lie that any of the sides in this conflict represent the interests of the people.

“The only power that can overthrow the AKP is the people’s power, there is no alternative to it.”

While the AKP will likely use the coup attempt as an excuse to strengthen its grip on power, blaming whomever it finds convenient, friends of all peoples in Turkey should show solidarity with those demanding a deepening of democracy and urging the unity of all working people in opposition to sectarian strife.

Turkey’s coup may have failed – but history shows it won’t be long before another one succeeds. Too late did Erdogan realise the cost of the role he had chosen for his country – when you can no longer trust your army, there are serious issues that need to be addressed: here.

21 thoughts on “Turkish military coup fails, repression follows

  1. Tuesday 19th July 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    A triumphant Erdogan seeking ‘revenge’ on the failed coup-plotters should fill everyone who believes in democratic norms with intense foreboding, says DAVID MORGAN

    ALTHOUGH there have long been signs of opposition to the divisive rule of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist AKP, few really expected the military to attempt a coup on July 15 which has now left 265 dead and 2,800 “coup-plotters” from the country’s military arrested in the immediate aftermath of the dramatic events.

    It soon became all too clear as the night turned to day that there was little appetite among the Turkish people for another coup.

    Indeed, rather than show any popular support for the rebellious soldiers, the people took to the streets in anger at what was taking place supposedly in the name of freedom, democracy and secularism — the fine sentiments used by the coup leaders in the short statement issued to justify their extraordinary if short-lived action.

    The ruling AKP’s attempt right away to lay the blame on the Gulen movement for instigating the coup seems highly implausible given that Fethullah Gulen is a manifestation of political Islam and as such is not a supporter of the secularist ideals expressed by the coup leaders.

    The Gulen movement, led by a wealthy exiled cleric, has become the knee-jerk bogeyman in Turkish politics and is immediately blamed for anything that goes wrong in the country since Gulen’s public fallout with Erdogan over corruption scandals a few years ago.

    The July 15 coup failed because the Turkish people were simply unconvinced that they would benefit in any way from yet another period of military rule and given the record of coups in the country’s history that is entirely unsurprising.

    As soon as events began unfolding, the pro-Kurdish HDP quickly issued a strong statement condemning the coup and calling for the immediate restoration of democratic politics.

    The only certain method to remove a political leadership is by democratic means backed up by mass involvement of the people.

    A coup, no matter how well planned, is unlikely to succeed for very long unless it can command popular support, however tyrannical the government it is seeking to remove might be.

    The aftermath and repercussions of this failed coup in Turkey pose tremendous dangers for the people, not least in the drift into far more authoritarian rule.

    It is inevitable that Erdogan will use the coup to his own advantage and he allegedly called it a “gift from Allah.”

    There are already calls for a return to the death penalty.

    Reports of Erdogan supporters beheading soldiers in public and film of screaming crowds stamping on the bodies of soldiers who were trying to surrender expose the atavistic sentiments for revenge that the coup seems to have unleashed as a backlash.

    The ugly scenes are all too clearly reminiscent of the cruelties carried out by Isis terrorists.

    These are dark times for Turkey and the wave of revenge is likely to have consequences outside the borders of the country in neighbouring Syria and beyond.

    The Islamist terrorists whom Ankara has long been accused of supporting have just been given a huge confidence boost.

    The opposition to Erdogan and the AKP are likely to come under increased pressure and will face more fierce attacks from a government whose confidence is strengthened by its success in defeating the attempt to oust it.

    The prosecutions of people in the media and political activists are likely to continue without a break.

    As of the Saturday afternoon following the failed coup, state prosecutors had issued arrest warrants for 140 Constitutional Court members and 48 members of the Council of State for alleged participation in the plot to unseat Erdogan.

    There is little likelihood that the moves to prosecute the HDP MPs, already under way following the lifting of their parliamentary immunity, will be slowed down. The measures might even be escalated.

    Exercising restraint will be viewed as a weakness and Erdogan will not want to show any more signs that he is not in full control.

    On the contrary, he will want to demonstrate unequivocally that he is in the driving seat. And of course, magnanimity was never one of the character traits for which the autocratic president is famed.

    There must be real fears that the war against Kurdish communities will be taken to a new more brutal level with early reports suggesting that military actions in the south-east are being stepped up.

    Within this new far more dangerous context for Turkey and the potential spillovers on its neighbours, support for a democratic, inclusive, secular Turkey is now more urgent than ever and an end to the Kurdish conflict will remain a central challenge to the nation and its political leaders.

    Throughout his political ascendancy Erdogan has shown that he totally lacks the vision to heal the wounds festering in Turkish society.

    The prospect that he will use the current crisis to centralise more powers into his own hands is alarming.

    A triumphant Erdogan seeking “revenge” should fill everyone who believes in democratic norms and the rule of law with a feeling of intense foreboding.

    Finally, are coups always such a bad thing? Just a couple of days ago, until it was savagely interrupted by the massacre in Nice, France was celebrating a coup that still defines the character of its country and its people — that is, the storming of the Bastille. The French revolution started out as a kind of coup.

    Many historians also regard the Russian revolution of 1917 as a coup, but it was one that brought down the hated tsarist tyranny that was never to return.

    Looking further back in history, to the England of the 1640s, Oliver Cromwell led a successful coup against the tyranny of Charles I and his “divine right” to rule; that popular resistance headed by Cromwell’s New Model Army during the English civil wars forged Britain’s modern parliamentary democracy and many people today regularly continue to salute Cromwell’s statue which stands outside Parliament in all its glory.

    So coups of themselves are not necessarily the worst option and indeed coups that fail can bring about far worse consequences than those coups that succeed.

    It remains to be seen whether Turkey’s tyrannical Erdogan will be strengthened or weakened in the long term following the recent failed coup in that country.

    David Morgan is a supporter of Peace in Kurdistan campaign.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-4991-Dark-Days-for-Turkey#.V432NKKZ0dU

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