|


Category 6

The Attitudes of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Parliament, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Other Politicians in the Suppression of the July 15, 2016 Coup Attempt.

The Second Coming

Faruk TEMUR

Key words: nation, country, leadership, patriotism, war

The Republic of Turkey was born out of a national struggle, which started with what can be called the first coming. With Mustafa Kemal’s landing in Samsun on May 19, 1919, after a three-day journey on the steamship Bandırma, the nation entered a three years of conflict against many foes on many fronts from which, despite having been battered by more than a decade of warfare on battlefields stretching from Yemen and Libya to the Caucasus and Galicia, it emerged victorious through the stunning patriotic fervor of its men and personal courage of its leadership. A people of 10 million souls, after laying down the lives of its men in excess of 1 million in many distant corners of the empire, were still able to expend this one last full measure of courage to save a homeland. And this effort was led by a handful of commanders, each of them barely 40 years old, who dared to defy the victors of World War I, the powers whose pen and ink wrote the writ of fate for many a nation at the peace conferences gathered shortly after the war. Mustafa Kemal, Musa Kazım, Ali Fuat and Mustafa İsmet were these men. With this poignant nation, the names of its leaders in that most poignant of struggles will live to eternity.1

With the end of the national struggle, the nation’s leaders turned the immense energy and patriotism that emerged during the war to national development, for they understood that the root cause of most of the nation’s woes for the last two centuries was material backwardness. They understood that political independence by itself was not enough; the nation also needed economic independence, and plans, the visions of which were laid out even before the Treaty of Lausanne granted the country political independence at the İzmir Economic Congress. To have economic development, they knew that the nation had to be educated. Therefore, they started a literacy drive for men of all ages. They knew the importance of the transportation network for the economy, so they laid down hundreds of miles of track. They understood the importance of financing and efficient circulation of capital in the economy, so they established banks. They saw how the nation’s capital was sucked out of the country by sugar and textile imports, which were products made from raw materials that were locally produced in abundance, so they established sugar and textile plants. In so many of these areas, achieved despite a dearth of experience, capital and entrepreneurship prevailed in the country. They were taking the first shy and shaky steps of a country on a long journey of material development, and each of these steps, for all their shortcomings in efficiency and organization, marked significant strides on this journey.2

Yet far more important than these advances was the patriotism and devotion of the leadership and cadre making them, whose unyielding faith in the capabilities of their own people was in idea and deed the fountainhead of all their endeavors. For without that faith, the task lying before them would weigh too heavy on their shoulders and they would neither dream nor attempt to reach out to the remotest hamlets of their country to teach at this village or cure the sick at another. As the people benefited from what the country had to offer, they felt it their duty to serve the nation so as to pay back their debt, and their lives and work were acts of self-sacrifice on the altar of the ideals of enlightenment to help advance their less fortunate compatriots. For all their shortcomings, and of which there surely had many, they put country above all else.3

But with time, this white heat of patriotism dissipated and the influence of various foreign ideologies and powers replaced it as the animating force of the nation.4 And with that most unfortunate event in the nation’s recent history, the entry into NATO in 1952, such influences gained steam, so much so that there bred within the country’s bureaucracy a breed of bureaucrats who in the name of cooperating with these newfound allies collaborated in their attempt to dominate the country. These bureaucrats, rather than obeying their elected superiors, would pursue their own deals with these so-called allies, and with their instigation, would even launch coups and turn their arms on their fellow countrymen.5 Thus, the country went through three coups, and with each one, the influence of foreign powers within the bureaucracy deepened. With the last and most complete of these, the 1980 coup, these powers were so emboldened as to decide that thenceforth all positions of power in the country, be it within the state or not, were to be controlled by their men. It was not enough for these men to merely collaborate with them, but they must, for all intents and purposes, worship them. And as the breeder of these men, they tapped into an ill-educated peasant, a “Turkish Rasputin” driven mad by his vaulting ambition. This madman, through blindness, perversion and treachery of successive elected governments took advantage of naivety and the mystical bent of this nation. A nation that listened to the poetry of Rumi and Yunus Emre as its cradlesongs fell victim to the false mysticism of this false prophet who in four decades established for himself an international empire of schools, banks, media outlets and most importantly, fanatic followers within the bureaucracies of this and many other countries. Such was the state of the nation on July 15, 2016.6

The Republic of Turkey was reborn with a national struggle, which ended with what let us call the second coming. With President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s landing in Istanbul after a most daring flight that fateful night, the nation emerged victorious from a nightlong struggle in which with bare hands and bare chests they stood athwart an endless onslaught of the heaviest weaponry available to mankind, defied and conquered tanks, thwarted and forced down helicopters and planes. A people caught unawares and unarmed to this most vicious assault of thousands of armed zealots were able to rise up in a stunning display of vigor, vitality and courage to resist and reverse the course of the night and emerge victorious at dawn. And as the night turned to dawn, they knew once and for all that the hopes they placed in this one man 15 years ago were not in vain, and that in him and his helpers they had a leadership to carry them toward much brighter horizons. Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ are these very men. With this nation, the names of its leaders in this most intense of struggles will live to eternity.

Footnotes:
1. Erik J. Zürcher, Turkey, A Modern History, I.B Tauris, (2004), 93-166.
2. Zürcher, 195-200.
3. Zürcher, 181.
4. ibid, 208-209.
5. ibid, 238-239.
6. Hanefi Avcı, Haliç’te Yaşayan Simonlar, Angora yayıncılık, (2010) Zübeyir Kındıra, Fetullah’ın Copları, Altaylı, (2001)

Category 6

The Attitudes of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Parliament, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Other Politicians in the Suppression of the July 15, 2016 Coup Attempt.

1. Ahmet YILDIRIM

How Turkish Politicians Determined The Result Of The July 15 Coup Attempt?

2. Faruk TEMUR

The Second Coming

3. Amdia MAHAMADU

The July 15 Coup Attempt In Turkey And The Government’s Response