Turkey coup attempt

2016-07-20 12:19

The thousands of ordinary citizens who bravely opposed the coup and supported the democratically elected government in Turkey need to be commended for showing political maturity. I truly congratulate the fearless citizens of Turkey who protected their legally elected President and government. The masterminds behind the failed coup had miscalculated the support President Recep Tayyip Erdogan enjoys amongst the people of Turkey. Unlike Egyptians, Turkish civil society, including opposition parties, stood up for rule of law. Erdogan due to his moral transformation and economic development of Turkey and his support for the Syrian refugees has become a source of inspiration for many Muslims across the globe.

Agreed, Erdogen has his faults like any human being and more so being a politician. Like other politicians, his decisions are not above criticism or disapproval, but there was no need for a military coup. If the military coup succeeded, then Turkey would be vulnerable to further violence and bloodshed. It is very significant that the coup was foiled and failed. If it had succeeded it would have been disastrous not only for Turkey but for the entire Muslim World. George Derpanopoulos, Erica Frantz, Barbara Geddes, Joseph Wright (2016) concluded in their research that “though democracies are occasionally established in the wake of coups, more often new authoritarian regimes emerge, along with higher levels of state-sanctioned violence. The perpetrators of coups tend to oust dictators only to impose new ones and many coups in dictatorships lead to increases in human rights abuses. Moreover, months that follow coups can be bloody, even if the coups themselves were not.”

The Turkish government alleges links to the failed coup to Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, America, for orchestrating the attempted coup. Erdogan is demanding that the U.S. government extradite Gulen. It will be interesting to see if the US accedes to this request. So far, the US is demanding evidence that meets the legal criteria for extradition. This scenario reminds me of Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush. After 9/11 Bush made a similar request to the Taliban. The Taliban refused to extradite bin Laden without evidence resulting in the US invasion and destruction of Afghanistan.

American double standards and its fork tongue proclamations reduces its moral high ground to be the police of the world. To quote Noam Chomsky: “If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.”

In the wake of the failed coup everything must be done to avoid further violence, to protect lives and to restore rule of law, human rights and dignity.

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Acknowledgments: Are coups good for democracy?

George Derpanopoulos, Erica Frantz, Barbara Geddes, Joseph Wright

Research & Politics Feb 2016, 3 (1) 2053168016630837; DOI: 10.1177/2053168016630837

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