World Events

Turkish Coup Fails within Hours

— updated 07/17/2016 —

A minority of Turkey’s 1st Army attempted to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rule in a failed coup attempt on Friday.

Details of how loyalist forces plan to fully resolve the matter are still unclear, but the coup forces have been detained and arrests are underway, according to Bloomberg.

For detailed coverage of the early events, please see Bloomberg’s early coverage.

General Umit Dundar, commander of the 1st Army, was not involved with the coup, and quickly urged the minority involved to return to their barracks to end their efforts.

Fethullah Gülen
Fethullah Gülen

Although speculation is swirling, blame for the coup seems to be connected with factions loyal to Fethullah Gülen, a former Muslim cleric from Turkey, and one-time ally of President Erdoğan.  Gülen, who now resides in Pennsylvania in self-imposed exile, denies involvement.

The coup began at roughly 10:00 PM local time.  Within a few short hours, coordinated efforts by Army loyalists along with civilian protests dismantled the resistance.  By dawn Saturday morning, the coup was squashed and the minority forces were detained.

According to Theodore Karasik, a Middle East analyst at Gulf State Analytics, a failed takeover “would see all resistance to [President Erdoğan’s] AKP party stamped out.”

That means President Erodğan’s push toward a more Islamic-leaning state will go largely unopposed.

In the press briefing below, President Erdoğan vowed treasonous factions will pay a heavy price and the military will be cleansed.  He also implied the rebellion was taking orders from Pennsylvania, meaning Fethullah Gülen.

President Erdoğan wasted no time in fulfilling his promise, as he declared the coup “a gift from Allah.”  His retaliatory purge began Saturday, with thousands of military personnel, judges and prosecutors arrested and fired.

It appears the coup may have been fortuitous, giving easy passage for Erdoğan to strengthen his Islamic ambitions despite recent rising opposition.  Here is a link to a speech given by Erdoğan in celebration of the Ottoman Empire conquering Constantinople in 1453.

More details will be added as events unfold.

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