This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
I just returned from my well-deserved vacation. Nothing seems to have changed in the media: the same headlines about Trump, the Daesh, and down to the concrete, in my country, Spain, which is still shamefully without a Prime Minister in office. In the coming days I will touch all these issues and many other such as Nicolas Maduro who is persevering in the same terrible mistakes to Venezuela’ people, or the ‘90 birthday of Castro, which I feel them endless.
I’ll write about Turkey today, so we do not forget what is happening there, which is very serious. The attempted coup has generated many doubts about the real authorship, including to myself, in view of the harsh measures authorized, the increased repression and the growing authoritarianism of Erdogan, who has achieved the maximum powers.
Turkey is increasingly a deeply divided state with regards to President Erdogan’s project to transform Turkey, with serious doubts about his commitment to democracy. Erdogan has rejected the secular heritage of modern Turkey, Ataturk’s, and he has finally achieved his goal of being a strong President with full powers after the failed coup, powers which he could not obtain before by means of the institutions of Turkey, and it was a real obsession for him.
The Turkish government has issued many Decrees, allowed by the emergency situation created after the failed coup, such as the properties’ confiscation of those involved in, and increasing their detention periods. They also allow to ban or censor any press’ publications, radio, television or cultural performances by the authorities.
According to the Turkish daily Hurriyet, there have been assets’ seizures from these suspected officials of belonging to Fethullah Gülen’ brotherhood, accused of organizing the coup, who have also been dismissed without any compensation, while the movement’ sympathizers have been degraded in their positions. Schools, foundations and associations linked to Gülen have been closed. A full-fledged purge against these government’ officials which has spread to the judiciary, the intelligence services, education and the PM’s office. So far, more than 50,000 people across the country have been suspended of salary for their alleged links with Gülen.
Among the many different measures taken by decree is the expanding from 4 to 30 days’ detention’ period, before being brought to the judge. Amnesty International (AI) stated, “there is a credible evidence of abuses and use of torture against detainees in Turkey, including raping, both in official and unofficial centers all across the country. Prisoners remain arbitrarily detained”, according to information obtained by the organization from several people who requested to be kept in anonymity for security means. Frequently the detainees have not been duly informed of the charges of which they are accused, undermining their right to a fair trial, and are being denied that lawyers and family can see them.
Looking at these alarming measures has been much speculation about the true authorship of the coup. ¿A Self-Coup? It does not seem so, since it is very difficult for Erdogan founding thousands of officers willing to destroy their careers and willing to be sentenced to lengthy prison terms.
However, it seems like the government had information in advance about the coup plan, as it was an open secret that the Army had plans to purged to those military opposed to Erdogan, which caused a deep unease among the military. It is now very proved that the secret services had previously captured several conversations among military and discovered the coup plans. And they let it happen!
Among the rebel military are several groups: from the Gülen’s followers, to those disappointed on Erdogan’ because of the negotiating peace’ process with the Kurdish armed group PPK. This fact precisely provoked the enmity of Gülen and Erdogan, who before were close friends. The real cause which put the rebel group together was the hatred to Erdogan.
My opinion is that Erdogan knew about the coup’ plan and allowed it to happen, to thereby be able to take all these measures that it could not be taken due to restrictions of the Turkish legal system: purging of the army, institutions and administration from those against him or his administration. Also the strengthening of Erdogan’ powers as President, constitutional rights’ limitation in order to suspend certain media, and eventually, the reintroduction of the death penalty. A full-fledged democratic involution. As Erdogan always wanted.
Some countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia or Russia reach out Erdogan the day after the coup to offer him support. The real examples of democratic leadership.