Turmoil in Turkey

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

16th July 2016

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, born 26th of February 1954 in Kasımpaşa, Turkey. He is the founder of the “Justice and Development Party” (the AKP) in 2001 and has dominated in politics since 2002, the first time he was elected as the Prime Minister of Turkey. Since then, the party has been elected into power a further three times, making him the second longest reining prime minster of Turkey. He then stepped down in 2014 to run for the presidency roll, to which he was elected.

As of late Friday night, 15th July, a coup began in the most established places Turkey has to offer: Istanbul and Ankara. These history infested places are no stranger to becoming the solid grounds for battles; eg. The end to the civil war took place on the Bosphorus in the pristine year of 324, perhaps Constantine’s final victory. However this time, it was the military services in Turkey that began an uprising against the

 

current president Erdoğan believing that he possess dictator like characteristics and want to free Turkey from the power he holds over them.

The night of revolution was just beginning:

“…as soldiers and tanks moved into key positions around Istanbul and the capital, Ankara, people poured into the streets. A night of confrontations, loud blasts and gunfire ensued across the capital, with at least 17 reportedly killed and scores wounded while fighter jets and helicopters buzzed overhead.” The Guardian,Turkey military coup attempt: what we know so far, Patrick Kingsley and Ghaith Abdul-Ahad in Istanbul

The death toll is currently sitting at 90 officers and a further 100 coup plotters. Authorities have also stated that over 1500 members of the armed forces have been arrested for treason.

The military had taken over the neighboring CNN news station, CNN Turk, escorting the news crew from the set.

CNN TURK
Screenshot of our television, CNN Turk news set left empty whilst on air

This was the news station, along with others, that was previously criticized for not showing the 2013-2014 Gezi Park protests that were a

major event happening in Turkey, where 11 people were killed and more than 8,000 were injured. Instead, they broadcasted a documentary on Penguins. Yes, that is right, whilst live coverage of the riots was broadcasted by CNN International. Another card played by Erdoğan in attempt to shield his nation’s eyes from the terror within their own country and more importantly, the dictator he has become.

 

 

Being a UK citizen as well as a Turkish citizen, my family and I have been advised to avoid any public places by the British Foreign Office. Other nations including the U.S had sent out similar warnings. 

There may be some controversy about the legitimacy of this coup, seen as the president was voted into power in 2014 in a democratic election and did win with just over fifty percent of the vote. However, back in 2014 once the candidates had finished the final leg of campaigning and the voting had came to a close, the numbers from the election began to emerge. With results being better than expected for Erdoğan’s campaign, questions began to rise. Even insiders to his own party were surprised

 

when the results exceeded the projected result. This then fed the conspiracies that began to generate after the results to the presidency election emerged just 2 hours after the voting ended. Let’s put this into perspective…in the Scottish local council election which was held in May this year, the results were revealed roughly 12 hours or so after polling has closed. The population of Scotland is approximately 5 million. The population of Turkey is just shy of 80 million. Either Scotland is lazy or….

On the other hand, many believe that this whole uprising could be seen as a staged event plotted by Erdoğan himself or his own people. Showing that even after an uprising of the military- the force that fights for the country, that signifies strength, can’t even defeat the president. In other words, to put the message across to the

 

people that no matter how many protests are conducted, how many lives are lost- he will always come out on top.

So here is a small list of some of the things Erdoğan has done either as PM or president which may have led up to this rebellion:

  • 2014: Soma mining disaster. Over 700 miners were trapped and after the president ignoring the matter (and also the cosy relationship between the government representatives and the mine executives) a proper rescue plan was neglected leaving over 300 miners trapped, left for dead. When Erdoğan arrived in Soma the following day, he was booed by the people who were disgusted by

 

his actions. His response- “Deaths are part of the job. Boo me and I’ll slap you.”

  • 2014: 14 year old boy was tear gassed and put in coma during the Gezi protests. The boy died short of a year later and the mother held the president responsible for her son’s death. His response was that the boy had a slingshot and was using it to throw stones, “His mother calls me a murderer. Who did I kill?” To which the crowd he was addressing booed the mother. He then proceeded to disgrace her during a speech on mother’s day.
  • 2016: His statement, “You cannot bring woman and men into equal positions; that is against nature”. Remember, he is the former leader of the Justice and Development party, ironically.

 

  • His continual put down of women, in a world that is striving for equal rights. He said a woman is “incomplete” and “deficient” if she failed to reproduce. He then carried on to state that he recommends woman having at least three children. Erdoğan has three children…how convenient.
  • The television stations in Turkey are monitored so the people of Turkey can only see news from the world and even Turkey itself that the president finds suitable.

For example: President Erdoğan abandoned Muhammad Ali’s funeral after his conditions for the speech he was to give were not met. He demanded to read from the

 

Quran and also place a cloth on the deceased boxer’s coffin. After being told this would not be allowed, Erdoğan furiously cut his trip short by flying back to Turkey.

There are also many television stations which are funded by Erdoğan and his cronies. By doing this, he can blind sight the people from reality. Blanking out stories in the media and keeping people, this own people, in the dark from stories that could be damaging to him and his party. This also includes a history of temporarily banning social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. 

I spoke to many citizens based in Istanbul, most of whom are up to date with the modern world and what is going on globally. But when I mentioned this outrageous behavior of the president at the funeral, they didn’t have the slightest clue what I was

 

talking about. His actions were completely wiped from the Turkish television broadcasting, his reputation still untainted as only the illusory stories can reach the eyes and ears of the people of Turkey.

UPDATE: Death toll rises to 265 with 2,839 member of the armed forces detained.

#DarbeDegilTiyatro, This is not a coup this is theater.

 

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