Category 3

The Internal and External Actors in and the Chaos and Risk of Civil War from the July 15, 2016 Coup Attempt.

The Turkish Nation's Struggle For Survival


Key words: Energy, Coup, Democracy

Turkey has seen treacherous attacks by military coups and terrorist organizations, but it was the first time that a terrorist organization infiltrated in the state attempted a deadly coup. This coup attempt was also an attempt to invade the country from the inside. In this sense, these coup cases have distinct importance. Another important point is that for the first time in the country’s history, the assassination attempt by a member of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) against a chief commander or a president is a matter of concern.

On July 15, the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) mobilized its cells in the military and attempted a coup. When FETÖ placed its cells in the judiciary three years ago and attempted a coup against the elected government, people had difficulty recognizing what was happening. It took time to convince the nation that it was a coup. Thanks to this struggle, for the sake of the steps taken during this three-year period, the treacherous coup centralized abroad could be blown out today.

The common point in the outbreak of coups is that the coup attempts and political chaos that Turkey has been exposed to are economic developments. Transition periods from a rent economy to production and development economies laid the base for Turkey to pass through these processes. Contrary to the economic management and resource flows that some sectors want, improvement in the economy and its reflection in lower- and middle-income groups have increased the efforts of economic tutelage centers to create chaos through different means. The July 15 coup attempt, which came after the Gezi Park protests and the Dec. 17-25 judicial coup attempt, is the product of the same effort. The fact that economic stability cannot be considered independent of political stability necessitates that these two rhetorics should not be considered independent of each other.1 Political and society-oriented initiatives and economic operations were repelled by political will with strong public support, and the general, local and presidential elections results have strengthened political will each and every time. At the moment, Turkey is moving toward sustainable development with huge projects. Especially in the transfer of natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Turkey and Europe through the Southern Gas Corridor (GGK) project, Turkey is a key point along the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project, which is considered a new “Silk Road” of energy. Russia establishing a business alliance with Turkey in the project is an important milestone in Turkey’s goal of being a trade center for energy. The fact that Turkey is the central country in the natural gas trade will strengthen both the perception of it as a credible country and the environment of capital investment. This is an important step in the transition of the Turkish economy to long-term capital, which has been dependent on short-term capital for many years (Enerji Piyasaları İşletmeleri A.Ş., EPİAŞ, and others).

When these and similar projects are completed, Turkey will be an important actor in the global energy market and will take an important step in the provision of energy supply security. In addition to the energy sector, the flow of capital, which will also be a source for reducing the current deficit, must be provided through Turkey. Along with these projects, the third airport under construction in Istanbul and the establishment of Istanbul Financial Center (IFC) projects show that Turkey follows a holistic policy regarding its target of being an energy and finance center. In this way, Turkey’s strategic position and an economic leap will be established. These developments have seen Turkey emerge as an important actor in energy as the most important sector of the global economy and politics.2

Almost all of Western actors were either indifferent to the coup attempt on July 15 or made statements that directly supported it. Some Westerners did not respond immediately on the night of the coup and waited for the end result. As it is apparent that the coup attempt failed, the authorities of some states unwillingly explained their support for Turkey’s democratically elected government.

The U.S., which is the most influential and powerful state out of the Western global powers, especially in the 20th century, has a thing about making, supporting or contributing to coups. When we look at the present world, Western countries, and the most powerful state, the United States, are involved in the internal affairs of many states known as anti-American and anti-Western. For example, the leadership of powerful leaders in Latin America, which has a strong anti-American tradition, has either been brought to an end or defended. For example, in Brazil, socialist President Dilma Roussef was dismissed from office in 2016 as a result of a process begun in December 2015. Many observers called it a “silent coup” in which the United States was involved.3 Similarly, a U.S. intervention could be seen in Venezuela, which has anti-US political rhetoric. In 2002, the U.S., which was trying to blow against the president of the time, Hugo Chavez, continues to take different measures to change the administration of the current president, Nicolas Maduro.4

As can be understood from this, Western countries make political, economic and, if necessary, military interventions in all the countries that do not practice politics as they want. They mobilized their means to change the administration in Turkey as in the past cases of direct and indirect intervention.

What would have happened if the July 15 coup attempt had succeeded? All the elected officers would have been forced to leave their offices, handing power to soldiers. Meanwhile, the people would have probably rebelled and much more blood would have been shed. Unlike the temporary state of emergency, martial law could have lasted for years.

In other words, communities that consider coup management as the reason for a legitimate rebellion would have been encouraged. Since opposing a military administration would be seen as heroism all over the world, the Kurdish political movement would probably declare autonomy as soon as possible. The military would fight this and the struggle against terrorism that continues with the PKK would turn into a war against the Kurdish people. Thus, the coup attempt that was allegedly made in the name of the country would cause the division of the country and the fighting between the people. If the coup was successful and all this had been experienced, maybe U.N. peacekeepers or NATO troops would have intervened, or the U.S. would have formed a coalition and help as it has done to Iraq. After all, either the country would experience a civil war and be divided or would be occupied in one way or another.

1. Özsağır, A. (2013), The impact of military coups and interventions on economic performance: The case of Turkey, Gaziantep University Journal of Social Sciences, 12(4), 759-773
2. Karagöl, E.T.; Ateş, S.A.; Kaya, S.; Kızılkaya, M. (2016), Turkey’s Seeking to Become the Central Country in Energy, SETA Report.
3. Snider, Ted (2016), “A US Hand in Brazil’s Coup?,” Consortium News, 1 June 2016, https://consortiumnews.com/2016/06/01/a-us-hand-in-brazils-coup/, Date of Access: 17 February 2017.
4. Weisbrot, Mark (2016), “A U.S. Policy of Non-intervention in Venezuela Would Be a Welcome Change,” The New York Times, 30 June 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/06/28/how-to-save-venezuela/the-us-bears-blame-for-the-crisisin-venezuela-and-it-should-stop-intervening-there, Date of Access: 13 January 2017.

Category 3

The Internal and External Actors in and the Chaos and Risk of Civil War from the July 15, 2016 Coup Attempt.

1. Cengiz GÜL

A Constitutional Perspective On The Implementation Of The Death Penalyt After The July 15 Coup Attempt


"Other" Turkey

3. Murat BİNAY

The Turkish Nation's Struggle For Survival