On the night of July 15, the Turkish society watched a military coup attempt, live on TV. For some it was so difficult to make sense of it that they chose to interpret the whole event as “staged”, being a member of a society inclined towards conspiracy theories. How could one call this a real military coup?
Let us not forget that Turkey’s history is replete with not only “successful”, but also “failed” military coups. Whether a military intervention succeeds in reaching its objectives or not, will depend on three factors: 1) A social and political crisis conducive to a military coup; 2) domestic and overseas social support; 3) political and military capacity.
Turkey is undergoing a deep political crisis for a long time. Başlangıç, and the Left in general, have described and analyzed this crisis through different perspectives. It was argued in these analyses that one possible outcome of this crisis, further aggravated by the government’s implementation of a war strategy following the general elections of June 7, 2015, could be a military intervention. Naturally, no one could make any estimation about its timing.
Tonight, a junta inside the army has attempted a military coup. While doing so, they assumed that the current acute political crisis would readily guarantee them domestic and overseas social support, as well as the required capacity. However, they were wrong. In a short space of time, statements clearly against the attempted military coup were issued from within the army (top commanders of the navy, first land army and special forces), major political parties, capitalists’ professional associations (TÜSİAD, TOBB), as well as international powers -as soon as they got a grasp of what was going on. Spokespeople of the civilian government made calls for resistance via private TV channels -which had continued their broadcast without disruption, not because the coup was “staged” (as argued by some), but because it had a limited capacity.
The AKP government will most probably turn this attempted coup into a political opportunity for itself, and use it as a pretext to initiate yet another wave of authoritarianism; however, we should not have any scruples about the coup. In this age, where even wars and coups are broadcast live before our eyes, only true democracy can be the antidote to military or civilian authoritarian regimes. And true democracy rests on the people’s own power, and nothing else.
This attempted coup will do nothing but turn pitch-black the darkness we are currently going through. Tanks can never be the antidote to unbridled authoritarianism, autocratic tendencies, and the suppression of democracy. Without any doubt, we have to stand against this military coup attempt, which, despite targeting an antidemocratic government, is so reckless as to bomb the parliament. We must say no to all attempted military juntas and coups, without “but”s and “maybe”s.
Başlangıç, July 16, 2016
Originally posted here.