Friday, 11 November 2016

Turkey, the Coup that wasn't

Crosstalk Debate on Turkish Coup



Last Saturday, Turkey survived a long overdue coup that failed before it even began in Ankara and Istanbul. In the last 50 years, Turkey has witnessed four coups, in 1950, 1977, 1980 and the most recent in 1999. The Turkish military has played a significant role in the past coups as it sought to gain political power. In the 1970s and 80s, the Turkish military was part of the lesser known Turkish Civil War against Turks belonging to trade unions, human rights activists, socialists and left wing parties and Turkish Kurds in Kurdish parts of Turkey which is mostly in the East of the country along the border with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Syria and Iran. The Turkish military had been used to brutal counter terrorism operations against the Kurds even before the United States' declared a War on Terrorism in 2001. Long before the 1991 Gulf War, Turkish government was condemning terrorism against the state and using harsh security measures to keep the public quiet on politics and anti-government criticism. Since coming to power in 2002, the current Turkish President Teyip Erdogan (who served as Prime Minister for 11 years) has also been using a combination of anti-terrorism laws, right wing politics, security state and fear to keep the public and journalists from criticising Turkey's own War on Terrorism aka War against the Kurds (both civilians and PKK, YPG in the name of fighting terror and keeping Turkey safe). Now some 10,000+ suspected supporters of the coup have been detained by Turkish policy and treated as enemies of the state in kind.

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