The Register of the 15 July Events by Research Turkey

*Source: gazetevatan.com ©

The Register of the 15 July Events by Research Turkey

‘The revolution will not be televised’ says Gil Scott in his famous song, but on the night of 15 July, we, as the citizens of Turkey could swear that we watched the oncoming of a thankfully failed coup on TV. Though we watched live what really happened that night, it will take some time for the ordinary citizens to grasp how events have really unfolded. Here is a short register for the followers of ResearchTurkey of the events that followed the 15 July failed coup attempt in Turkey.

Turkey has been shaken on 15 July 2016 Friday with the news of a group of soldiers within Turkish Armed Forces, who initiated a coup expecting other troops to join in after the start of the endavour. Worrying events, i.e. ‘the endavour’ with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s words, which started on last Friday night around 10 pm with the closing down of Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges in Istanbul by soldiers and the appearance of low-flying jets over the Grand National Assembly Building in Ankara continued with social media news predominantly from Ankara and Istanbul of explosions and gunfire  in these cities. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan underlined that the endevaour was precipitated by a group called Fetullahist Terrorist Group (FETÖ), which had allegedly penetrated to various levels of the Turkish Armed Forces for the last two years, inviting the Turkish people to steets and squares in show of their support of the AKP government.

Turkey, for the first time in her history, witnessed the bombing the GNA building by F-16 jets, the shooting of a Skorsky helicopter by the Turkish jet planes and the asylum of a group of colonels to Greece. Around 3 am on Saturday night, it had been announced at Turkish Radio Television (TRT) channels and on the official website of Turkish Armed Forces that the Army has seized power within its chain of command. After the night of 16 July full of sounds of explosions, low-flying jets and gun fire, soldiers on Bosphorus Bridge surrendered around 6am in the morning. Attempts to lynch some of the soldiers have also been seen in due course.

During the coup attempt, 62 policemen, 5 soldiers and 179 civilians died, amounting to 246 casualties in total (Diken, 2016). 6319 soldiers have been arrested and 1563 employees of Turkish Armed Forces have been put under custody.

The consequences of the failed coup d’état in Turkey have been visible immediately after the night of 15 July, especially in domestic policy. The general tendency had been to purge state institutions from elements which are believed to have affinity to FETÖ. 2114 judiciary members have been removed from their posts since last Friday’s uprising, which has been followed by the discharge or suspension of approximately 20000 education staff. 1577 deans of faculty working in state and private universities have been asked to resign, which has also led to the sacking of four university presidents.

Turkish academics have immediately been banned from travelling abroad for work purposes following the bloody events of 15 July, which is currently left to the discretion of the university presidents.

The number of detainees at time of writing approximated to 9056, which include 1348 judges, 737 public prosecutors, 8900 soldiers, 736 military school students, 918 police officers, 825 state administrators and civil servants. Those who has been suspended from civil service is around 47188.

Following the worrying events of 15 July, state of emergency of three months has been declared by the government following the National Security Council and Cabinet meetings of 20 July in line with the Article 120 of the Constitution. Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş, right after the declaration, announced the suspension of the European Convention on Human Rights in line with the Article 15 of the agreement allowing for it in time of emergencies.

Meanwhile, the economy has stalled, related in part to recent political developments and the overall security situation. It is no wonder that Turkish per capita income—which peaked at $10,800 in 2013—has now fallen to 2009 levels, at $9,950.

Post-coup d’etat attempt period also witnessed for the first time a cross-party rally titled ‘Republic and Democracy Rally’ to condemn the coup attempt in Istanbul last Sunday (24 July) with the invitation of main opposition party Republican People’s Party (CHP). Many thousands of Turks massed at Taksim Square, including members of AKP and MHP, and left-wing organisations such as Conferederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK), Conferderation of Public Employees Trade Unions (KESK), Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), Halkevleri (People’s Houses) and Birleşik Haziran Hareketi (United June Movement).

ResearchTurkey, which aimed at perpetuating fredom of speech, deliberation and seek for truth from the start of its life time, strongly condemnS the coup attempt of 15 July which has apparently been directed against Turkish democracy. We give our condolences to the families of the deceased. May God give them eternal rest.

We also repeat our wish that the Turkish Republic will continue her life time respectful of fundamental rights and liberties and of secularism, and supporting national unity, solidarity, and societal peace and reconciliation delicately. We hereby declare that we claim our duty in this respect to stick to freedom of speech eternally. We share with public our belief that those who have been discharged or asked to resign will be investigated in line with rule of law and justice. We genuinely hope that the celebratory mood of last Sunday will trump.

Centre for Policy and Research on Turkey (Research Turkey)

Please cite this interview as follows:

Research Turkey (July, 2016), The Register of the 15 July Events by Research Turkey”, Vol. V, Issue 7, pp.47 – 49 , Centre for Policy and Research on Turkey (ResearchTurkey), London, Research Turkey. (http://researchturkey.org/?p=12546)

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