Failed coup attempt in Turkey has its third anniversary – Hüseyin Çiçek in the VN
In an article in the Vorarlberger Nachrichten, political scientist and associated EZIRE member Hüseyin Çiçek deals with the failed attempt to overthrow Turkey by parts of the military in which more than 200 people died. The coup attempt, which took place in the night from 15 to 16 July 2016, marks its third anniversary this year – there are still raids against suspected Gülen supporters.
The preacher Fethullah Gülen, who lives in the USA, was called the mastermind by President Erdogan. The Turkish government took action against alleged putschists, but also journalists, opposition politicians and human rights activists with dismissals and arrests. The state of emergency, which was imposed shortly after the coup attempt and extended seven times, did not end until July 2018.
There are still raids on suspected Gülen supporters, and numerous trials are under way. “What we are still missing is clear evidence of who was behind the coup,” says Vorarlberg political scientist Hüseyin Çiçek. He does not want to question the fact that Gülen supporters were involved. But to this day it is not known exactly what happened that night, who had planned how and what in advance. Çiçek said it was difficult to answer whether Turkey had changed fundamentally as a result of the coup attempt. “The authoritarian turn of Erdogan and the AKP was already visible before that.” With the arrest of intellectuals and opposition members, however, this development has intensified even further.
Çiçek describes that for a time Erdogan had succeeded in locating the events of the coup night with neo-Ottoman echoes and anti-imperialist slogans, also in the context of Islamophobia, as a drastic event in recent Turkish history. “In the meantime, however, even their own voters are no longer necessarily convinced of this. This was most clearly seen in the Istanbul election.” Ekrem Imamoglu, candidate of the largest opposition party CHP, clearly won against AKP candidate Binali Yildirim when the mayoral election was repeated in June. Imamoglu had already prevailed at the regular election date in March, but the High Election Commission cancelled the vote because of alleged irregularities and had the election repeated. It thus granted a motion by Erdogan’s AKP.