Saturday, July 16, 2016

Turkish Coup Attempt Crumbles

The news coming out of Turkey today is that last nights military coup has failed and the tyrant and wannabe Sultan of the New Ottoman Empire has regained control as thousands of ordinary citizens took to the streets to support the Islamist government. Much as we in the west might support the military faction in Turkey trying to halt the country's drift towards becoming an Islamic Republic, and to preserve it as a secular and liberal NATO member and EU candidate nation, it seems a majority of Turkish people want to live in an Islamist republic.

Crowds of Erdogan supporting civilians commandeered tanks and helped thwart the overthrow of the Islamist president (Image source: Russia Today)

How this squares with leggy Natashas on the beaches in tiny bikinis, cocktail bars and women's equality I don't know but if we are not to be as hypocritical as our enemies we should support a democratic vote over tanks and guns any day.

What we do not have to support is Turkey's human rights abuses, trade in oil and rmaments with Islamic State, ongoing genocidal war against the Kurds and manipulation of the migrant crisis to blackmail the west for cash and political favours. Turkey should be booted out of NATO and the United Nations and its EU membership application filed in the bin marked "jokes that turned out to be not very funny."

The Turkish government insists that the situation is now under control and promises the plotters will pay a heavy price for organising the military coup attempt, which has resulted in at least 265 dead and 1,140 wounded.

The uprising began in Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey’s two major cities. In Ankara, military aircraft were seen flying low overhead, attacking the National Intelligence Agency’s building and police special forces HQ. Tanks also opened fire around the parliament building in the capital.

In Istanbul, tanks and armored fighting vehicles were seen around the city and outside Ataturk international airport. Military trucks blocked the bridges across the Bosporus.

Fighting also broke out between pro-coup and anti-coup forces inside the army headquarters. Chief of Staff, General Hulusi Akar, was detained by pro-coup soldiers and reportedly taken by helicopter to Akincilar air base northwest of Ankara. He was rescued from captivity later on Saturday.

There is always a caveat with any news coming out of places where the media is government controlled, and this applies especially in Turkey, where President Erdogan has recently shut down newspapers, radio stations and blogs critical of his regime (Tukish TV is state controlled) and has even demanded of German Chancellor Angela Merkel the prosecution and extradition of a German comedian who, in Germany, delivered a comic routine insulting to the Turkish president.

Russia Today has not been quite so enthusiastic about reporting the failure of the coup as the BBC and American news channels, but is reporting that Erdogan is back in control and is purging the military and civil services, the legal system and the police of people suspected of not being enthusiastic enough in their support of his human rights abusing, Islamic fundamentalist gangster regime.

It looks then as if the coup has been put down for the present, but we have a feeling this story is a long way from dead. Watch this space.


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