Turkish coup fails, people's will prevails
Halil Kantarci 36 years old, and a father of three was killed on July 15, 2016 by the Junta attempting a military coup d’etat in Turkey. As a result, his children were left orphaned, and his wife become a widow. Consequently, Kantarci was also the youngest victim who was sentenced to death with means of the coup d’état performed on February 28, 1997. Though Kantarci was but of many who were either killed or injured as the Junta had snipered innocent women, and shot and randomly towards civilians with live bullets. Mustafa Zorova aged 70 was also among the civilians who were protesting against the Junta. Zorova who had also witnessed both the military coup’s in 1967 and 1980 was shot with three bullets in the leg and collapsed to the floor. As Zarova hung on to people for support, he had realized they were all killed one by one, with no sign of life. As he was on the verge of exsanguinations, civilians who were left standing had rushed him to hospital. Zorova was one of the lucky ones to survive. As with the successful coup on February 28, 1997 history had set out to repeat itself once more, the past coming to the future from time and time again, and the internal sovereignty of Turkey at stake. Though only this time, democracy had triumphed.
Within political science discourse, a state is required to secure its internal and external sovereignty. Internal sovereignty requires the state to provide a peaceful environment for its people, with the supreme power given to it by them. External sovereignty also requires to the state to protect its people and it territorial integrity against foreign occupation including states and non-state actors involved in terrorism activities. Turkey has been dealing with terrorism and conflict for almost thirty odd years now with organizations such as the PKK and the now labeled FETO. The 30 year old conflict between the Turkish state and the PKK has taken approximately 30,000 lives. The peace process executed by the Turkish government in 2013 was aimed at eliminating the conflict in Turkey. The Kurdish people were given equal rights including being able to seek education in their own language and also the compensation of having their damaged houses replaced, vocational education centers being established and new job opportunities being provided. As the PKK had threatened the external sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Turkish state, the FETO terrorist organization has proven to be a grave threat to the internal sovereignty of Turkey, as the latest attempted coup d’état had proven it.
Jonathan Powell and Clayton Thyne in their article ‘Global instances of coups from 1950 to 2010: A new dataset’ had defined a coup d’état as an ‘illegal and overt seizure of a state by the military or other elites within the state apparatus’. The FETO terrorist organization was established in the 1970’s by a religious cleric named Fethullah Gulen. Gulen serving as a religious cleric up until 1999 had coincidentally left Turkey for ‘medical purposes’ within days of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan being captured by Turkish Special Forces. The attempted coup d’état has proven how threatening non-state organizations involved in terrorist activities can be. Dr. Erol Mutercimler from Halic University describes the FETO terrorist organization to first have infiltrated the Turkish Armed Forces in the 1980’s stating ‘Yasar Buyukanit (Former superintendent of the Turkish Army Academy and also Chief of Army) had dealt quite alot with students who were apart of the FETO terrorist organization’.. ‘ and the first formal report regarding the FETO terrorist organization present in the Turkish Navy was written in 1994’. What should be understood here is, the attempted military coup was not done by the Turkish Army itself, but a fraction within it connected to the FETO terrorist organization. Generals present within all branches of the Turkish Army had sworn allegiance to the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish people and the protection of democratic values in Turkey. All Turkish political parties including the opposition had taken a unified stance against the attempted coup. The Kurdish and Syrian population were also seen within the forefront of protests against the Junta.
With an attempted coup like the one on July 15 to what end the Turkish Parliament was bombed, it can only be a natural reaction as to have a crackdown on FETO members present within the judiciary and other governmental departments. As the internal sovereignty of the Republic of Turkey is at stake, arrests will need to take place in order to stop the parallel governmental acts FETO members are conducting. Links as to whether international ties are present with the attempted coup are being investigated. As the attempted coup was being initiated, former CIA officer Robert Baer was seen giving Turkish Coup plotters advice on CNN stating ‘[Turkish coup plotters] should have taken CNN Turk and closed it down in the first minutes, the radio station, social media, the internet. Even if they didn’t arrest Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, they should have taken care of all that right at the beginning’. According to the Independent, John Kerry had suggested ‘Turkey’s NATO membership could be under threat’, dawning various questions to one’s mind.
All in all, indeed Turkey is going through tough times. Yet with the uniting of its people and politicians, regardless of race, color, sect, political ideology or secular values, democracy will indeed prevail and non-state organizations involved in terrorism activities will be purged from within the government and its bodies.