Yetvart Danzikyan: the coup attempt and its aftermath

Will such an era really start after this kind of a calamity? Let's hope it will. However, there is a good chance that an era, where capital punishment will be back, every opposing protest will be suppressed both by the state and “society” and lynching atmosphere will remain, is coming.

The coup attempt on July 15, which was planned by a small group in Turkish military, might have been surprising for some people, since the majority of Turkish society has been in agreement that the time of coups has passed. Around midnight, we realized that Turkish Armed Forces (fortunately) doesn't support the coup as a whole and the attempt will fail. However, after midnight, we also realized that the putschists are suicidal, given the fact that they are going on to bomb the parliament, and it is uncertain how many casualties will this attempt cause. And around the same time, CNN Türk channel's building was raided, which was another indication of this “madness”.

Condemning this attempt, which has nothing to do with democracy, is of course essential for us. Considering the claims of the government and majority of media, this coup was plotted by generals and officers who are close to so-called Gulenists. So far, we haven't seen anything that would refute this claim, so we have to pay attention to it. Some journalists, who have been following these issues closely, say that Gulenists are capable of doing something like this and it is not surprising given the fact that a major “cleansing operation” has been expected after Supreme Military Council meeting in August. Of course, we will see the picture as a whole with the interrogation of the detained generals. However, I would like to write down my personal opinion. On Saturday, TV channels announced the names of the detained generals in subtitles. Looking at the list, we realized that we are faced with a rather wide network that stretches across Turkey. On this point, one might ask: after all that fight against Gulenists, how can there be so many Gulenist high-ranked generals in Turkish Armed Forces? And there is a second question related to the first one: I wonder, if some generals, who are not Gulenists, watched the process and preferred to adopt an attitude after understanding whether it will succeed or fail. Similarly, there are thousands of detained judges and prosecutors. How could they determine these names in two days? We should also keep in mind that there has been a quite tense cleansing operations in judicial bodies for 2 years. So, we will watch “the coup case” with curious eyes.

Let's talk about the aftermath. On some point, people intervened and there is no doubt that it was a positive step in terms of weakening the coup atmosphere and proving the “legitimacy of street movements”. However, we cannot say that this issue of hitting to streets was a smooth process. First of all, lynching the surrendered soldiers is a really important issue; moreover, this situation approved by the government. Secondly, there are indications that, by the will of this lynching crowd, capital punishment will be back. People gathering in front of President Erdoğan's house in İstanbul and in front of the parliament in Ankara shouted “We want capital punishment” and both prime minister and president made some statements considering this demand normal and implying that they will do something about it. This development raises some questions about the future. 

And of course, the attitude of the crowd doesn't seem very “pluralist” or “democracy loving”. We should note that their slogans and “Allahu Akbar" shouts and their vengeful attitude with an unpredictable direction cause concern for Alevi people and secular circles. Thus, government's call for hitting to streets throughout the week might turn into troublesome protests. Besides, celebrating a failed coup that caused thousands of casualties like a festival every night cannot be an appropriate behavior. 

There is another issue: wind of “democracy” that came after the coup attempt is of course pleasing. However, it would be a mistake, if we forget about the “pre-coup” period. For instance, this is an important scene: after the coup attempt, chairs or deputy chairs of 4 political parties in the parliament gave very important speeches. While Idris Balüken from HDP was speaking, it was impossible to remember the following fact: just 2 days before, elected MPs have been called to give statement, after their parliamentary immunity was lifted with the insistence of Erdoğan and the initiation of AKP. Separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers is almost annulled and all powers came to obey one person. 

There is no doubt that these facts don't bear a striking resemblance to an attempted coup, which caused bombing of the parliament, thousands of casualties and might have brought about unbearable conditions for us if it would have been successful. However, we should remember that there have been “civil intervention” attempts and practices almost every day for the last 2 or 3 years.

Similarly, we should remember the destruction and war policies in Kurdish cities after June 7 election. We should also remember how June 7 election (will of people, in other words) was “canceled” and the conditions while November 1 election was approaching. 

Let's conclude with the current situation. On Saturday night, everyone on TV wished a new, more democratic Turkey. While I was listening to them, I felt like I am watching a TV program similar to the ones that we are used to see after elections in the last 10 years. In these nights, which ends with the victory of AKP, everybody would say that a new era started or should start in terms of democracy.

Will such an era really start after this kind of a calamity? Let's hope we will. However, there is a good chance that an era, where capital punishment will be back, every opposing protest will be suppressed both by the state and “society” and lynching atmosphere will remain, is coming. Some news websites are already blocked and this is really bothering in this respect.

Let democracy win, now and always. This is our wish.


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Yetvart Danzikyan