The Internal and External Actors in and the Chaos and Risk of Civil War from the July 15, 2016 Coup Attempt.
Muslims, often considered the “other” among the Abrahamic religions, make up the majority of Turkey, which is the only secular state with such a population, and these people always keep their significance in world politics and are often a main target as “others.” When the geopolitical position and history of Turkey is added to this situation, Turkey, as a remarkable danger, is in a state that continues its development alone in the face of hostility. Along with the history of the Republic of Turkey is addressed starting from the period of national struggle, this study will present the internal and external actors of the malicious July 15 coup attempt and their attitudes.
“Atatürk’s revolution is originally a political and ideological revolution rather than social and economic,”1 that is, Turkey has been shaped through the hegemony of the upper class that developed out of the desires and will of the lower class. In the history of the Republic, opportunistic state elites claiming to act in the name of the state and holding up political, social, cultural and economic development by continuously intervening in the social structure became a hunchback on society.2 As Habermas said, with lack of a “politics of recognition” that would provide for different subcultures and lifestyles to coexist with equal rights in the same republican society, the Turkish people could not find any position in executive and formal government structures due to their faith and practicing of religious duties, and as such, were divided.3 A marginalized part of society saw that mosques were demolished and turned into barns and pubs, and their holy book, the Quran, collected, burned and buried out of fear.4 For years going to the hajj was forbidden5 and citizens were hanged because of their refusal to stop wearing the fez.6 There was a period in which the Turkish classical music was banned7 and a time in which the opposition media was silenced and punished.8 Youngsters once could not go to university, enroll in military schools or own a business. In short, there were days in which conservatives or those living according to the articles of their faith were humiliated, held in contempt and experienced a lot of upsetting events.
The hand of the state, starting with the Committee for Union and Progress (CUP) in 1923, has destroyed and degenerated Islam, demolishing it at the end in the name of westernization.9 This continued rapidly in the one-party period. “The regime that Kemalists established in 1923 … was not democratic, with all meanings approved.”10 “The official approach of the Republic was to refuse the checkerboard-like structure of Anatolia without mentioning it at all. Generations were made to adopt the ideology of the Republic without considering the local, religious and ethnic groups as unnecessary residues remaining from Turkey’s dark ages, refusing them all.11 There were conservatives and modernists in the Republican People’s Party (CHP) who did not arise as a result of the reorganization of Anatolia and the Rumelia Countrywide Resistance Organization, and prominent conservative, religious, socialist and populist figures in society were left out of Parliament in the first election in 1923, and the Turkish War of Independence, which was a broad-based, civil undertaking with different ideologies, turned into a movement of a small group.12 This small but effective group has been doing its duties now with its followers of artists, journalists, writers and others by disliking every thing that the “other” government and its leaders do, misinforming society and denigrating every big investment and development.13 However, when the Democrat Party (DP) came to power with more than 53 percent of the vote in the 1950 elections,14 internal and external actors realized that the oppressive state approach drove the public away, being unable to demolish the faith and religious emotions of the people, thus creating the Gülen Movement, now known as the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), and in 1978, the PKK.
FETÖ also targeted conservatives that the same type of oppression illustrated above, i.e., pseudo-modernity and secularism, which is confused with Kemalism, and religious antagonism could not deal with it. The Gülen Movement, or FETÖ, which is I prefer to call Assassins rather than the “parallel structure”, had placed members in state institutions and organizations with “infiltration” operations by exploiting the religious emotions and spiritual values of the people.15 The organization, which aimed to drift the country into a state of chaos using tapes, audiences, assassinations and intrigues, has been supported by Europe and the U.S., which was seen many times after July 15.16-17
On the other hand, while no terrorist organization is related to a religious identity in any part of the world, the West tries to legitimize the concept of Islamic terrorism while not considering the PKK, which has killed thousands of innocent Turkish civilians and soldiers and runs an illegal drug trade, to be a terrorist organization for some reason. Europe gives a pseudo right of freedom of speech to terrorists under the scope of democracy, but does not give the right to the freedom of speech to the Turkish president or ministers. Moreover, it is a known fact that there are many entities resembling associations, foundations and institutions that collect charity for the PKK in European countries, particularly in Germany.18
In the history of the Republic of Turkey, the political choices and preferences of the people, that is, real democracy, was suppressed with two military coups in 1960 and 1980, and with two memorandums in 1971 and 1997. The democratic, economic and physical progress of the country was hindered with these interventions.19 Thus, the Turkish nation was positioned as the “other” in politics throughout the history of the Republic.20
The geographical region that sometimes includes Turkey is called the Middle East, with no reference to Islam not to get a reaction. Projects depicted as exporting democracy to Muslim countries was called the Greater Middle East Project. The international actors who triggered the July 15 coup attempt started to give a new shape to the region with the Arab Spring under the concept of divide and rule, as they knew that to move a stone in the Middle East, which has borders resembling a badly constructed wall, means to destroy the Middle East21. In 2010, the Greater Middle East Project was launched in Tunisia and is still ongoing in Syria today, with aims to destroy Arab and Muslim states, and destroying Turkey is the final and ultimate aim. In addition, European countries have also supported this within the Western bloc policy of the U.S. and EU’s common foreign policy, and the national foreign policies of the states that had engaged in colonialism in the Middle East.22
After this brief outline of these periods and their internal and external actors, it is necessary to address the recent history of Turkey. When Turkey started to develop to being a center rather than a “neighboring country”, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) broke the record for uninterrupted rule by a single party in the multi-party period. It had faced coup plots such as Sarıkız, Ayışığı, Yakamoz, Balyoz and Ergenekon. After the failure of the e-memorandum from the General Staff on April 27, 2007, the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) plot in 2012, attempts to foment civil war following the Gezi Park protests in Sur, Diyarbakır and “mastermind” terrorist organizations that used FETÖ as their pawns in July 15, were defeated in the final game of coups and assassinations.23-24
As a result, 249 civilians died, more than 2,000 were injured and public institution and corporations were bombed, particularly in Ankara, and public goods were also seriously damaged. The community that gathered spontaneously on the night of July 15 as a uniform body said stop to civil war, chaos and invasion under the name of a coup.25 For the first time in the history of the Republic, innocent civilians with no arms or even rocks repelled and quashed the coup attempt. The heroes in the victory of democracy are the patriotic Turkish nation “that find the strength they need in their already embedded noble blood”, Turkish soldiers, Turkish police, the Turkish government and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the president and commander-in-chief of the Republic of Turkey.
With all these questions, the chaos, civil war and occupation plans of the internal and external actors of July 15 coup attempt, and their goals to dismember and stop the development of Turkey have been clarified. However, the actors who either forget or ignore the fact that contemporary Turkey is the successor of the Seljuks and Ottomans, should know that neither marginalized Muslims nor conservative people nor the oppressed governments and governors, neither their sanctions nor obstructions, neither the propagandist media nor weapons nor bombs, neither provocations nor pseudo and ex-parte democracies, neither fictional history nor modernity can divide Turkey or the Turkish people, which has been exposed to “Byzantine tricks” many times in its glorious and great history. As happened on July 15, all similar attempts will result in failure. Because, as Atatürk has said: “Writing history is as important as making history. If the writers remain loyal to the creators, the invariable truth can mislead humanity.”
And: “There is a victory that grows in each failure!” 26
KONGAR Emre, 21. Yüzyılda Türkiye, Remzi Kitapevi, İstanbul, 2007
DURGUN Şenol, Modernleşme Ve Siyaset, Binyıl Yayınevi, Ankara, 2010
HABERMAS Jürgen, “Öteki” Olmak, “Öteki”yle Yaşamak, Translation: İlknur Aka, Yapı Kredi Yayınları, İstanbul, 2010
ÜZÜLMEZ Abdurrahman , 15 Temmuz Bir Devrimin Eşiğinde (July 15 On the Brink of a Revolution), Profil Yayınları, 2016,
LEWIS Bernard, Modern Türkiye’nin Doğuşu, translation: Boğaç Babür Turna, Arkadaş Yayınevi, Ankara, 2009
AHMAD Feroz, İttihatçılıktan Kemalizme, Kaynak Yayınları, İstanbul, 2011
MARDİN Şerif, Türkiye’de Toplum Ve Siyaset, İletişim Yayınları, İstanbul, 2010
ZÜRCHER Erik Jan, Modernleşen Türkiye’nin Tarihi, (Turkey: a Modern History) translation:Yasemin Saner Gönen, İletişim yayınları, 2005
İNALCIK Halil, Atatürk ve Demokratik Türkiye, Kırmızı Yayınları, İstanbul, 2009
KARPAT Kemal H., Türk Demokrasi Tarihi, Timaş Yayınları, İstanbul, 2010
MANGO Andrew, Atatürk; Modern Türkiye’nin Kurucusu, Remzi Kitapevi, translation: Füsun Doruker, İstanbul, 2007
DAVUTOĞLU Ahmet, Stratejik Derinlik, Küre Yayınları, İstanbul, 2011
CANETTİ Elias, Kitle Ve İktidar, translation: Gülşat Aygen, Ayrıntı Yayınları, İstanbul, 2006
KAYNAK Mahiri, GÜRSES Emin, Büyük Ortadoğu Projesi, 2004
SÖZER Ercan, Askeri Darbeler Ve Toplumsal Etkileri:1960, 1971 ve 1980 Darbeleri, Atılım Üniversitesi
Unutulan Manşetler, ATO, Ankara, 2007
www.milatgazetesi.com, Faşizmin Tecessüm ettiği Kişilik: Nevzat Tandoğan, Erdal Şimşek, 17.08.2015
haber.akademikperspektif.com, Terör örgütü PKK’nın En Büyük Destekçisi (The Biggest Supporter of PKK)
www.lacivertdergisi.com, PKK’nın Çapraz İlişkileri (PKK’s cross-relationships)
Fetogercekleri.com, Üst Akıl
m.ahaber.com.tr, 12 Yılda 10 Darbe Girişimi
Sahipkıran.org, Devletin Şiddet Tekelini Kurma Sürecinde İki Köşe Taşı: Şeyh Said İsyanı ve Takrir_i Sukun Kanunu, Mustafa Kaymaz, 02.02.2014
www.haberturk.com, Atatürk’ün Alaturka musiki yasağı, Murat Bardakçı, 01.02.2010 (Ataturk’s Classical Turkish Music Ban)
1. Emre Kongar, 21. Yüzyılda Türkiye, Remzi Kitapevi, İstanbul, 2007, p.18
2. Şenol Durgun, Modernleşme Ve Siyaset, Binyıl Yayınevi, Ankara, 2010, p. 212
3. Jürgen Habermas, “Öteki” Olmak, “Öteki”yle Yaşamak, Translation: İlknur Aka, Yapı Kredi Yayınları, İstanbul, 2010, p.8
4. Eskibirdefter.wordpress.com, Cumhuriyet’in utanç lekelerinden biri: Ahırı çevrilen, satılan camiler, (One of the stains of shame of the Republic: Mosques turned into barns and sold) 18.07.2011. belgelerlegercektarih.com, Atatürk döneminde satılan ve ahır yapılan camiler, (Mosques turned into barns and sold during Atatürk’s period) 04.02.2016
5. belgelerlegercektarih, Kemalist rejimin hakim olduğu Türkiye’de Hacca gitmek yasaktı (Going ton the hajj was forbidden in Turkey during the Kemalist regime’s time in power)
6. Millicumhuriyet.com, Mustafa Kemal şapka yüzünden kaç kişiyi idam etti, Yavuz Bahadıroğlu, 14.04.2013 (How many people did Mustafa Kemal hang because of a hat)
7. www.haberturk.com, Atatürk’ün Alaturka musiki yasağı, Murat Bardakçı, 01.02.2010 (Ataturk’s Classical Turkish Music Ban)
8. Belgelerlegercektarih.com, M. Kemal Atatürk’ün Yasakladığı Kapattığı Gazeteler, Basın Sansürü, 08.05.2012 (The newspapers banned and closed by M. Kemal Atatürk, Press Censorship)
9. As R.W. Seton-Watson mentions, there were not any thoroughbred Turks among the leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress, and the main characteristic of the movement was being neither Turkish nor Muslim. Bernard Lewis, Modern Türkiye’nin Doğuşu (The Emergence of Modern Turkey), translation: Boğaç Babür Turna, Arkadaş Yayınevi, Ankara, 2009, p.287
10. Feroz Ahmad, İttihatçılıktan Kemalizme (from Unionistship to Kemalism), Kaynak Yayınları, İstanbul, 2011, p.160
11. Şerif Mardin, Türkiye’de Toplum Ve Siyaset, (Society and Politics in Turkey) İletişim Yayınları, İstanbul, 2010, p.65
12. Kemal H. Karpat, Türk Demokrasi Tarihi (History of Turkish Democracy) Timaş Yayınları, İstanbul, 2010, p.49
13. Since it will exceed the topic and dimension of this article, we will not go into detail, but the behaviors of the artists who showed up in front of the Can Dündar and MİT trucks event and the Gezi Park protests, on the night of coup and thereafter should be examined.
14. Unutulan Manşetler, ATO, Ankara, 2007
15. Abdurrahman Üzülmez , 15 Temmuz Bir Devrimin Eşiğinde (July 15 On the Brink of a Revolution), Profil Yayınları, 2016,
16. Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu, the assassination, is one of the most crucial examples and evidences of this claim.
17. Remarks, interviews and statements revealing the connection and support in between them are way too much to fit into this study, and is a topic for another research. For example, Greece not returning putschist soldiers, Georgia and European countries welcoming FETÖ members and the Zekeriya Öz and Can Dündar events should be investigated.
18. When the PKK terrorist organization is examined in a different perspective, 20 percent of the population within the new borders was Kurdish during the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, and they were not mentioned in the Treaty of Lausanne or given a promise for autonomy that was broken. An illegitimate approach was presented by not recognizing autonomy, which Mustafa Kemal had promised. In addition, the abolition of the caliphate destroyed the religious symbol holding the Turkish and Kurdish nations together. After this date, an opportunistic group in the Kurdish nation who had been marginalized and exposed to oppressive politics played a vital role in establishment of the PKK, which was founded to dismember the Republic of Turkey.
19. Ercan Sözer, Askeri Darbeler Ve Toplumsal Etkileri:1960, 1971 ve 1980 Darbeleri, Atılım Üniversitesi
20. What the governor of Ankara of this period, Nevzat Tandoğan, said: “Buddy Ox Anatolian! What you have to do with nationalism, communism? If nationalism is needed, we’ll do that. If communism is needed, we’ll bring that, too. You have two duties: The first one is farming and growing crops. The second one is joining the military when we call you.” is the saddest manifestation of this situation.
21. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Stratejik Derinlik, Küre Yayınları, İstanbul, 2011, p.323
22. Ahmet Davutoğlu, age, s.348
23. m.ahaber.com.tr, 12 Yılda 10 Darbe Girişimi
24. “The best definition of mastermind was made by the 35th U.S President John F. Kennedy who said his assassination. We are wanted to be stopped in each part of the world by a gigantic and implacable secret structure. This structure is based on hidden tools to expand its zone of influence; and relies on the infiltration rather than the occupation, ousting rather than the elections, discouraging rather than free selection, night guerrillas rather than day armies. This is such a system which is in a position that a lot of human and financial resource was put into construction of finely knitted, very effective machine. And this machine combines the military, diplomatic, informative, economical, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are not published but hidden. Its errors are not headlined but buried. Its opponents are not praised but silenced. Any of its spending is not questioned, any rumor about it does not become a news, any secret is not disclosed.” Fetogercekleri.com, Üst Akıl
25. Elias Canetti, Kitle Ve İktidar, translation: Gülşat Aygen, Ayrıntı Yayınları, İstanbul, 2006, p.17
26. Sezai Karakoç, Sürgün Ülkeden Başkentler Başkentine
The Internal and External Actors in and the Chaos and Risk of Civil War from the July 15, 2016 Coup Attempt.