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Winners and losers in Turkey’s coup bid

The bloody coup attempt in Turkey by a section of the military has failed and the night of the long knives is about to begin. The geopolitics of the coup makes it inevitable that reverberations will be felt far and wide beyond Turkey.

urkish President Erdogan is seen amid his supporters at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (C) is seen with his supporters at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir

The narrative that this has been an eruption of disgruntled generals and colonels who rebelled against an authoritarian leader is far too simplistic. The target was undoubtedly Erdogan, but the agenda is more complicated than that.

The dramatic events are bound to impact Turkey’s regional and international role in all its dimensions.

One thing can be said with absolute certainty at the outset: this was not a coup attempt by the ‘Kemalists’ who sought to make a desperate move to roll back the tide of political Islam and remove President Recep Erdogan from power. The two main opposition leaders of the principal Kemalist party and the nationalist party respectively have voiced strong solidarity with the democratic forces.

That, in turn, means that the immensely popular Turkish leader at the moment enjoys the sympathy from a wider spectrum of Turkish opinion than the 51% mandate, which the ruling Justice & Development Party secured in the 2014 parliamentary poll.

The overwhelming majority of Turkish people do not want their country to relive its past history with the Pashas systematically subverting the supremacy of elected civilian leaderships.

Erdogan surely senses that he is on the right side of history and he can be expected to take advantage of it in the coming hours, days and weeks. This is one thing.

However, the most ominous thing is that the government has pointed the finger at the followers of the US-based Turkish Islamist leader Fetullah Gulen for staging the abortive coup. (Gulen, unsurprisingly, has rejected the allegation.)


Continue reading via: Winners and losers in Turkey’s coup bid— M.K. BHADRAKUMAR  | Asia Times