July 31, 2021

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Five years after the coup attempt: Turkey

Updated July 15, 2021 at 6:45 p.m.

  • Tanks roll over through Istanbul and Ankara, scenes of violence across the country, more than 200 dead: five years after the shocking events of the night of the coup in Turkey.
  • The consequences are dire: mass layoffs, harassment and a new constitution with strong powers for the president.
  • Expert Fabian Felder talks about the “new Turkey”, the founding father of which Erdogan wants to present himself.

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The first pictures went around the world on the night of July 15, 2016: Large tanks rolled through city centers Istanbul And Angaras, Parliament shelled, President Erdogan escapes an assassination attempt. Five years ago, more than 200 people were killed and more than 2,000 wounded in a coup attempt in Turkey.

Five years after the failed coup attempt, the shock of events is still deep. “The Turkey As a state, it has become fundamentally political in the medium and long term, both during and after that night, “said Fabian Felder, a scientist from the Orient and Asia.

Two-year emergency

“Two years after the failed coup attempt, Turkey was in a state of emergency in which many fundamental rights were suspended or suspended, and a nationwide curfew was imposed,” Felder says. Interventions resulted in every aspect of the daily political, social and cultural life of the Turkish government.

A real “purge” took place, especially in the military, where tens of thousands of soldiers were arrested or suspended. “Top commanders and commanders across the country, both in the Navy and the Army and the Air Force, have been removed from office and arrested,” the expert explains. Over the years, the Turkish armed forces began to reorganize, in which Kelen supporters were removed from their posts in condemnation.

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Domestic political persecution

“The Turkish Broadcasting Authority has revoked dozens of broadcasters, online websites and radio stations from their licenses because they are said to have links to the Golan movement,” says Felder. Many in the education sector at school or universities lost their jobs. “One of the key areas in the operation of Fethullah Colon’s movement is the school and education sectors.

But not only the colon movement Erdogan Goal: That too The persecution of the opposition pro-Kurdish party HDP has increased. “This harassment goes as far as the Turkish parliament because more and more HDP MPs’ immunity is being extended so that they can reach the judiciary,” Felder commented. The accusation is always: “Terrorism, propaganda and links with the Kelen movement, that is, high treason,” he says.

Freedom of the press was circumcised

In Turkey, after the coup, Erdogan formed an organization in line with his views: “The judiciary works with trusted people, as well as positions in the military and administration,” Felder says. Freedom of the press has also deteriorated drastically to this day.

“There are no more free newspapers, only a few independent small websites and newspapers. The rest of the newspapers are under great pressure,” the expert said. Large media groups such as the Token group are now largely in the hands of government-friendly investors or investors close to Erdogan.

Also read: Erdogan leaves conference for women’s protection – loud protest

Computer compatible with Erdogan

The state apparatus is still tense and is cracking down on protests against the restrictions or on counter-movements from the press and the political-opposition. “Hundreds of people have been brought to justice and punished, including famous journalists like Mehmet Altan or his brother Ahmed Altan – both are now free again,” Felder recalled.

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Erdogan would have confirmed all these developments in the 2017 constitutional referendum. At the time, the president was voting on a new constitution that would expand his executive powers and influence over the judiciary. “It’s perfectly suited for Erdogan and the AKP,” Felder said. Since 2016 and 2017, people have been talking about “Yeni Turkey” – “New Turkey”, although it is not very democratic.

Five years ago tanks rolled through Istanbul and bombs fell on the Turkish capital, Ankara. The conspirators opened fire on civilians and attacked federal institutions. The chronology of the failed conspiracy still has a lasting impact on Turkey today.

Rebuilt position

Erdogan wants to present himself as the founding father of this “new Turkey”, so he wants to turn state founder Mustafa Kemal into a national figure and push it into the background.

Felder summarizes: “Turkey is different after July 15. It is less free, it has become more repressive against the people and against free, civil society, the political and media elements of the state.” The government is basically rebuilt, Designed to suit one person and party and then approved by the 2017 constitutional referendum.

2023 Presidential Elections

Despite the massive consequences of the night of July – one sees in vain a real alternative in the opposition. “Erdogan’s voters are still willing enough to hand over the country’s political future to him because the AKP currently has 30 to 35 percent of the vote,” Felder said.

This is a bad value since the government took over almost 20 years ago. “So it will be interesting to see what measures the government will use to deal with this situation,” Felder says.

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It will definitely own up soon as the next presidential election in 2023 comes just in time for Turkey’s 100th birthday. “We can already say one thing relatively well: the AKP candidate will be a certain Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” Felder says.

About the Expert: Fabian Felder Rhine Friedrich-Wilhelms-University studied Oriental and Asian studies with a focus on Arabic / West Asia. His focus topics include Turkey and the Levant (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon). He has worked in various print and online media and is currently working as a freelance editor for the event and document channel Phoenix from ARD and ZDF in Gold.

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