Recently acoup d’état was attempted in Turkey against the government but ultimately failed. The attempt was performed by a faction within the Turkish Armed Forces that was organized under a council called the Peace at Home Council. The council attempted to seize control of several key places in Ankara, Istanbul, and elsewhere, but failed to do so after forces loyal to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the cabinet of Binali Yıldırım defeated them. In this article we will explain all important details regarding why coup happened in Turkey, why it failed, what will be its likely consequence on geopolitics of Turkey.
- What is a Coup?
- Who was behind the coup?
- Who is Fethullah Gulen?
- Why Military did attempt the coup?
- Why did the coup failed?
- Aftermath of the attack
- Strategic Importance of Turkey
- Likely consequences of the failed Coup on Turkey
What is a coup?
- A coup is an illegal attempt to overthrow those in power by force.It comes from the French coup d’etat, which translates as “blow of state”. Turkey has a history of military coups, but has not experienced one for nearly two decades.
Who is behind this?
- The scale of the operation – which included the deployment of fighter jets and tanks -would suggest it was planned by senior military figures.
- Elements of the Army and Air Force are involved in the coup, and it is unclear if the Navy is also behind it.
- Mr Erdogan has claimed that Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen is the inspiration behind the coup.
Who is Fethullah Gulen?
- Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, United States, once supported Mr Erdogan but became a nemesis.
- Mr Erdogan has long accused the cleric and his supporters of attempting to overthrow the government.
- The cleric promotes a philosophy that blends a mystical form of Islam with staunch advocacy of democracy, education, science and interfaith dialogue.
- That puts him at odds with Mr Erdogan, who has introduced more Islamist policies at the expense of the country’s long-held secular views.
- The pro-Gulen Alliance for Shared Values has said it condemned any military intervention in domestic politics.
Why did the military attempt the coup?
- The modern Turkish republic was founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a former military officer deeply committed to a form of democratic nationalism and hard-line secularism now called Kemalism.
- The Turkish military sees itself as the guardian of Kemalism, and has overthrown four Turkish governments since 1960 in the name of protecting Turkey’s democracy from chaos and Islamic influence.
- Erdogans AK Party, with roots in Islamism, has long had a strained relationship with the military and nationalists in a state that was founded on secularist principles after World War One. Thus the justification of pro-coup faction of the army was that Erdogan,s pro-Islamist policy is a threat to Turkeys Secularism and therefore for safeguarding Kemalism Erdogan needs to be removed.
Know more about Kemalism
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938) was a distinguished soldier and reformer; the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey.He was
Militarily, he was perhaps most famous as the Ottoman officer who inflicted two defeats on British forces at Gallipoli during World War I. Later, however, he set about ridding his country of some of the corruption, superstition and waste that had corroded the empire from within.
Kemalism, as it was implemented by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was defined by sweeping political, social, cultural and religious reforms designed to separate the new Turkish state from its Ottoman predecessor and embrace a Westernized way of living
His ideology was distilled into six tenets, known as the “six arrows of Kemalism:
- Etatism (State socialism)
Why did the Coup fail?
- In a country that has experienced four coups and three coup attempts, most experts say that this attempt was sloppy and disorganized. Erdogan has not backed down in the face of military saber-rattling, like most administrations have.
- One of the other reason was that Turkeys rapid economic growth and his conservative reforms have made him extremely popular among the half of turkey’s population esepecially the more Religious Turks) who went on the streets to support Erdogan and nullifying any attempts of Pro-coup faction of the army.
- Thus popularity of Erdogan among vast majority of Turks is the main reason why coup failed.
Aftermaths of the attack
Turkey has declared three-month state of emergency after a failed military coup to overthrow the democratically elected government. Three-month state of emergency was declared as measure to counter threats to Turkish democracy. The emergency allows officials to set curfews, issue search and arrests warrants and restrict gatherings.
Strategic Importance of Turkey for the World
- Turkey is a major power in the world today, quite literally resting between Europe and Asia in the Middle East region.
- Turkey is incredibly important. It is one of the most stable countries in the Middle East and many Western countries depend on that. Including the US.
- Turkey is a member of NATO, an organization of international countries believing in security and diplomatic relations. The US and Germany, among others, are members.
- Not only that, the US and its coalition against the Islamic Statelaunches operations from an air base in Turkey. It’s closer and faster to fly from Turkey than from Italy or from a military ship in the Mediterranean.
- Turkey plays a key role in the Syrian conflict, and for the EU is an important partner in its attempts to solve the migrant crisis, so any upheaval and disturbance in Turkey could have major adverse consequences.
Likely consequences of the failed Coup on Turkey
- The coup could help Erdogan’s quest for authoritarian control in Turkey. If he is perceived as the defender of Turkish civilian government, his popularity could well soar.
- He could leverage this popularity into votes in Turkey’s parliament for constitutional changes granting him extraordinary powers, his long-time objective. This could mean end of Kemalism in Turkey and drifting of Secular Turkey towards becoming a Islamic state.
- Experts also believe that one of the geopolitical consequences of the failed coup is that Turkey will ultimately turn its back on the EU and NATO and focus on the East, and Russia in particular; it will also adopt the Asian model of development, with a strong central presidency and a dominant single-party government.