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Category 4

The Attitudes of Countries and Institutions like the U.N., NATO, the EU, the U.S., Russia and Other Countries Against the July 15, 2016 Coup Attempt.

America And The West Before and After July 15

Erol UZUN

Key words: July 15 coup attempt, the West, the United States, FETÖ

The July 15 coup attempt is a historical event not only for Turkey and Turkish people, but also for the whole region and, in fact, the whole world. Turkey, as the last bastion of the Middle East in terms of democracy and political stability, has been the target of Western countries and several terrorist organizations in recent years. Considering the purposes and methods of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), it is understood that the West directed the movement. FETÖ has conducted many irrecoverable and destructive acts in the Islamic world to either passivize Islamic doctrines, which would create resistance to the West and imperialism, or creating sympathy for the West. FETÖ has been supported in regions where the West considers direct interference risky or has not been able to implement social change, particularly in Turkey. In this context, coordinating the role of the West is clearly seen from the foundation of FETÖ as a terrorist organization to the July 15 coup attempt. Therefore, the identity of the mastermind behind the scene becomes evident.

America and the West before July 15

Until July 15, international forces made various attempts to wipe out and overthrow the elected government by means of FETÖ. The National Intelligence Organization (MİT) crisis, Gezi Park protests and the Dec. 17-25 operations are the clearest examples of these attempts. However, the forces that had not been able to achieve their goals began to spread rumors in international media starting from 2014 that Recep Tyyip Erdoğan was evolving into a dictator and Turkey was becoming totalitarian, which was followed by rumors of a coup. America and Western countries have had no problem with real dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf countries. It is clear that the West had used this word to prepare their people for the July 15 coup attempt. Western countries are known to execute economic and, if necessary, military intervention in countries that do not abide by them politically. Western global forces, especially the U.S., have a long history of staging coups, enforcing coups or supporting coups. Even a simple internet search shows the number of coups the U.S. has supported in the last 20 years is more than 20. A closer examination illustrates that regardless of ideology, Western intervention generally brings about coups in countries and against leaders that initiate more nationalization projects and engage in independent political discourse. The U.S. and the West have always proposed various reasons for coups, such as moving away from democracy, increasing authoritarianism or violations of human rights, and have tried to shape perception. It has not been different for Turkey. For instance, Michael Rubin, a neoconservative researcher at the American Enterprise Institute and adviser to former U.S. President George W. Bush for the Middle East, wrote that “[t]here was a high probability for a coup” in an article published on March 21, 2016. In his article accusing Erdoğan of being out of control, paranoid and a one-man dictator, Rubin claimed that Erdoğan would be imprisoned for a long time if he were not executed. Rubin clearly said that if a coup occurred in Turkey, the U.S. government would continue to work with the coup administration. Eric Edelman and Morton Abromowitz, both former U.S. ambassadors to Turkey, called for Erdoğan to resign in their Washington Post article dated March 2016. In the article, they wrote: “As we stated in the beginning, if Erdoğan still maintains his opinion that Turkey has a bright future, he has to either make a reform in which he is going to move away from his current attitude or resign to make that future possible.” A Wall Street Journal article by Dion Nissenbaum on May 15, 2016, brought up discussions about a coup in Turkey. He wrote: “According to what inside sources reported, the Turkish military rebuilding its influence brought up concerns about Erdoğan’s overthrow by the generals in the Presidential Palace.” John Hannah, the national security adviser to former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, published an article in Foreign Policy in June. In the article, he wrote that a day of reckoning for Erdoğan was coming sooner or later: “Erdoğan’s problem is getting worse, metastasizing, creating greater and greater risks for U.S. interests. Sooner or later, a day of reckoning is likely to come. The United States should start preparing now to mitigate the damage.” As to the ways to stop Erdoğan, Hannah offers these choices: “Center-right opposition splitting from the AK Party [Justice and Development Party], a mass protest movement like Gezi Park or a military coup.”

America and the West after July 15

Political reactions from America and the West on the night of the bloody coup and the day after are rather significant. Taking an ambiguous position within the first hours after the coup, the U.S. and the West preferred to remind Turkey of democracy, rule of law and respect for institutions rather than taking a stance against the coup attempt. Moreover, the U.S. and the West, as they warned Turkey not to push the limits, were worried more about the putschists than the Turkish people. International press gave the impression that democracy was lost in Turkey even after the coup attempt failed. Rubin’s article, “Why the Coup in Turkey could Mean Hope”, published in New York Post, is an example of this. In the article, Rubin recalls the previous coups in Turkish history and says that the coup on July 15 was attempted to protect democracy and the real purpose of the junta was to reconstitute the democratic regime. Another similar article was published on Fox News. In his article “Turkey’s Last Hope Dies”, Ralp Peter wrote that a democratic and secular system could be reinstated by a military coup in Turkey, which he said has become increasingly conservative, but the failure of the coup attempt meant that the Islamists were to increase their dominance over the state. Having been very distant from neutral and respectable journalism with its reports during Turkey’s hard and sensitive times, The Independent emphasized that Islamists won and secularism and democracy was in danger as a result of the failed coup under the heading “Turkey’s Failed Coup is not a Triumph for Liberal Democracy”. Continuing to make biased news, they published an article titled “President Erdogan could be Using the Coup against Him to Turn Turkey towards Full-Scale Islamisation”. It claims that Erdoğan was going to make the country more conservative after the failed coup by using the presidential system. It said that secular people were afraid of the country’s transformation into an Islamic state. After it was realized that the coup attempt failed, international media changed their rhetoric and started to make fake news to wear out the president. The Guardian published an article titled “Has Turkey’s attempted coup really made Erdogan stronger?” The article said that while soldiers and public personnel related to FETÖ were removed from their positions, people who were far from the coup attempt but posed possible threats to Erdogan were also detained. Fake news suggested that the president took the coup attempt as an opportunity to widen his sovereignty and this was an important problem for politically polarized Turkey. Regarding the issue, The Guardian published another article titled “Aftermath of Turkey coup attempt will be bloody and repressive”. The article said that since he came to power in 2002, Erdoğan took a stance against the military guarding the secular and democratic system in the light of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s doctrines. The article asserted that this attitude toward the military paved the way for the situation today. It also said that the secular and constitutional state system in Turkey was going to be replaced with an authoritarian Islamic state through conservative policies.

Considering these examples, Western media blamed the victims of the coup attempt rather than its actors. Western media arguing that the only purpose of the people who went out to the streets on July 15 was to support and protect Erdoğan issued disturbing and mostly fake pictures blaming Turkish people for torturing the wounded soldiers. Especially the Western and American mainstream media never mentioned FETÖ as being behind the coup attempt. To the contrary, they continued to portray the organization as a peaceful movement. Moreover, they all agreed that Turkey’s legitimate, democratic government and president who was elected directly by the people were responsible for all the negative consequences. Many government buildings with much symbolic importance such as the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the Presidential Palace, General Staff headquarters, the MİT building, Ankara Security Directorate, Special Operations Center and  the Turkish State Media (TRT) were set on fire, political leaders were targeted for assassination and, more importantly, putschists killed 249 innocent people with heavy guns, F-16 war planes, helicopters and tanks. Western media ignored all this and criticized the constitutional security precautions after the failed coup attempt and showed their own insincerity.

Sources:

ABD Ankara Büyükelçiliği, (2016), “Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Shots Heard in Ankara, Bridges Closed in Istanbul,” 15 Temmuz 2016, https://tr.usembassy.gov/emergencymessage-u-s-citizens-shots-heard-ankara-bridges-closed-istanbul/, Erişim Tarihi: 23 Aralık 2016.

ABD Dışişleri Bakanlığı, (2016), “Joint Press Availability With EU High Representative Federica Mogherini,” 18 Temmuz 2016, https://www.state.gov/secretary remarks/2016/07/260174.

DURAN Burhanettin, The Trıumph of Turkısh Democracy The Huly 15 Coup Attempt And Its Aftermath, SETA 2016

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/07/16/turkeys-last-hope-dies.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-13746679

http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/07/15/erdogan-has-nobody-to-blame-for-thecoup-but-himself/

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/16/opinion/the-counter-coup-in-turkey. html

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/19/world/europe/turkey-erdogan-crackdown.Html

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/17/turkey-defeatedcoup-military-turkish-army

Daily Sabah, (2016), “Turkey Slams German Magazine Der Spiegel’s Provocative Edition, Cover,” 14 Eylül 2016, http://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2016/09/14/turkey-slams-germanmagazine- der-spiegels-provocative-edition-cover, Erişim Tarihi: 24 Aralık 2016.

Independent, (2016), “Erdogan Has Survived This Coup – But His Future Is Still Uncertain,”

16 Temmuz 2016, http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/editorials/turkey-couperdogan-military-army-erdogan-has-survived-this-coup-but-his-future-is-stilluncertain- a7140736.html

New York Times, (2016b), “The Erdogan Supporters Are Sheep, and They Will Follow Whatever He Says,” 19 Temmuz 2016, https://twitter.com/nytimesworld/status/755364571389591558,

New York Times, (2016a), “Erdogan Triumphs After Coup Attempt, but Turkey’s Fate Is Unclear,” 17 Temmuz 2016, https://twitter.com/nytimesworld/status/754776778204389376,

Rubin, Michael (2016), “Erdogan Has Nobody to Blame for the Coup but Himself,” Foreign Affairs, 15 Temmuz 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/07/15/erdogan-has-nobody-to-blamefor-

the-coup-but-himself/

Reuters, (2016a), “Kerry Says Hopes for Peace and Stability in Turkey,” 15 Temmuz 2016,

Category 4

The Attitudes of Countries and Institutions like the U.N., NATO, the EU, the U.S., Russia and Other Countries Against the July 15, 2016 Coup Attempt.

1. Erdem ÖZLÜK

Turkey's July 15 Coup Attempt And The West's Organized Hypocrisy

2. Faruk TEKŞEN

The Continuity Of Constant Relations With Eouro-Atlantic Institutions And Normalization With Russia In The Aftermath Of The July 15 Coup Attemp

3. Erol UZUN

America And The West Before and After July 15