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The three-hour Turkish putsch ​

After a very particular evening following the news, let’s also post here the considerations I wrote in Italian on my other website on Turkey’s hectic night. My plan was to start posting again on here as well, the events forced me to do that tonight. Good, I needed someone/something pushing me.

In analytical terms, what I have seen is:

  • This is only a part, not even particularly significant either in terms of numbers or rank, of the military.
  • The Police, Secret Services, the Navy, and other institutions were against the coup.
  • The people, following Erdoğan’s call, took up the streets and reacted. In similar occasions, the military has never fired against the population in the streets. There were reports of the army shooting against the police, and it was already a very unusual and worrisome development. That said, they could also fire against people on this occasion, particularly if this group represents a bunch of lower-rank officials who perceive this as an opportunity for “internal mobility.” But, what would be the price to pay, regarding their reputation, if they do so?
  • Many Europeans may not like it, but Erdoğan enjoys real support in Turkey. This is a reality that many observers continue to deny. Like it or not; this is the reality.
  • From the videos appearing on Twitter, the army’s control of certain critical areas was not so “significant” as it was announced in the very beginning
  • Political parties are all against the coup: the AKP (clearly), the HDP (of course, they hate Erdoğan, but hate the military more), but also the CHP and the MHP. Historically, these two parties are closer to the military. But, likely, not to this part of the military.
  • The mosques around Turkey are organising the resistance against the coup. They are well-organised, with real popular support and have the capacity to mobilise people street by street.
  • With the current regional situation, I don’t think that external powers dealing with the Syrian quagmire and the refugees’ issue would be happy to see Erdogan stepping down after a military putsch.
  • Also in the case that the coup is successful, Erdoğan (or his substitute, if he is not allowed to run) will win 60% of the vote after something like this. After that, the fear of a real “autocratic majoritarian democracy” will become a solid reality. The time of the military guardians of the six Kemalist pillars has gone. It’s not 1980 anymore, but not even 1997. Do you remember 2007 and the failure of the e-memorandum? The military does not enjoy anymore the socio-political support it enjoyed in the past, and the group who carried out this putsch seems to represent only a minority within the army.

If you are looking for historical comparisons, this is Tejero in 1981 or the failed coup against Gorbachev in 1991. Forget Kenan Evren; those times have gone.


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