Dr. Ali Al-Ghamdi
Many observers agree that the failed military coup in Turkey on July 15th will be the last one in a country that has seen numerous coup attempts. The last coup was not successful because all segments of Turkey society took to the streets and stood with unparalleled courage in front of tanks in defense of the government. A large number of people lost their lives in protection of the achievements made ever since the Justice and Development Party took over following a fair and transparent voting process. All opposition parties attested to the transparent voting process.
Looking at previous military coups, Turkish people took no action about them because of the prevalence of poor conditions in the country prior to the coups. The only exception was the coup that toppled the government of Adnan Menderes and ended its rule. Menderes was elected Prime Minister by Turkish people who flocked to the ballot boxes and chose the Democratic Party headed by Menderes. In fact, Menderes fulfilled many of the promises he made to people, reopening thousands of mosques, legalizing the Arabic Islamic call to prayer and allowing people to express their opinions freely.
The previous coups were successful because of the military leaders who led them. The last coup in Turkey was planned and carried out by a group of officers who supported Muhammed Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim scholar, who has been living in the United States for more than15 years. The Turkish government calls the supporters of the coup “Parallel State”.
Gulen was one of the followers of renowned Turkish scholar Said Nursi, who hails from a Kurdish family and his teachings continue to be very popular among all segments of Turkish society. Gulen did not follow the same way of Said Nursi and Nur Movement but took a different approach. In a short time, he attracted supporters and encouraged his supporters to open modern schools and universities and combine modern science with religious studies.
The goal was to ensure that a graduate of an institution that combines both science and religion should have the same level of education of a graduate from a government institution in addition to religious education.
Many of the graduates of academic institutions supervised by Gulen landed good positions in the state’s different organs including the military, the police, the judiciary while some started their own businesses. The Turkish government believes that Gulen and his followers had been planning for the coup for a long time. The government had a good opportunity to get rid of the followers and expel them from government organs.
The government has doubts that the United States and European countries knew about the coup and that it was carried out with their blessings. However, the US vice president visited Turkey a month after the failed coup and denied categorically any US involvement in it and stressed that the US did not play any role in the coup. Strangely, the European countries did not criticize the suspects of the coup the same was it criticized the Turkish government’s draconian measures against the suspects, a fact which rouses suspicion.
Obviously, Europe and the US were angry because the coup failed, not because of the coup attempt itself. They warned Turkey that if it re-instituted death penalty, it would face difficulty joining the European Union. The Turkish government knows very well that joining the European Union is not a certain thing yet; that is why it did not take these warnings seriously. On the contrary, it continued taking draconian measures against those involved in the coup. Subsequent to the announcement of emergency, thousands of military and police officers and judiciary employees were arrested. These arrests might come as a surprise or shock to outside observers; however, once the observers realize the large number of Gulen followers who held government positions, they would not feel surprised or shocked any longer.
This is the last coup in Turkey. I say that because of the public consensus expressed by all segments of Turkish society and parties regarding the coup attempt and the decision the Turks made by taking to the streets in groups and standing in front of tanks. They were determined to stop any attempt to topple the government illegally and send out a message loud and clear to those involved in the coup and any military officer. The message says: the era of coups is over forever and won’t come back and that the Turkish people want to protect and safeguard democracy and the achievements the country has made over the past decade.
All opposition parties spoke against the coup and supported the government and the parties’ leaders were present at the public meeting which Erdogan called for. Over three million Turkish individuals were present at the meeting to say they were against the coup and support democracy and peaceful handover of government powers.
Courtesy: Saudi Gazettee