Turkey coup: The awkward moment when a military dictatorship tries to overthrow a budding dictator


14359028808_fac3e40aaf_tayyip-ErdoganThere is currently a coup attempt underway in Turkey. From following the updates in the media, the situation appears very confusing.

Certain bridges in Istanbul have been cut off, purportedly by the army faction attempting the coup. A large explosion has been reported at or near parliament.

Power-plays appear to be going either way between military and the police, with reports of police stations being attacked by the military, but also of military personnel being arrested by police.

The people have taken to the streets, with some reports suggesting they are supporters of the coup and supporting the military, others saying they are supporters of the President and impeding the military, others saying that they are clashing with each other.

Reports of military aircraft in the air above Istanbul and Ankara are coming in, with some suggesting that an F-16 jet has shot down a coup-aligned Sikorsky helicopter, others that a jet conducted a sonic boom over the city, while police fired at it, others that the F-16’s have bombed strategic positions and others that they are patrolling over international airports.

The military faction appears to have attempted to take control of national media and at least get some level of control over social media, but news, however confusing, appears to still be getting out of Turkey. Importantly, the President has conducted a press conference in Istanbul where he has denied that the military coup has succeeded, and has called the coup attempt “treason,” committed by “terrorists.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been heavily criticised for increasing authoritarianism, and moving Turkey away from its secular constitution towards Islamism. The military, on the other hand, sees itself as the protector of the secular constitution, set in place by Kemal Ataturk.

Keep in mind, Turkey is a member of NATO, has been accused of at least tacitly supporting the Islamic State, while being a less than perfect ally to the US. It has clashed with Russia in the air, is trying to enter the European Union, and is attempting deals which would allow Turkish people free movement into the European Union.

You can follow the updates in the Australian here, and DailyMail here.

Photo by theglobalpanorama