Between the July 15 to the April 16: From Turkish Type of War on the Masses to the Turkish Type of Presidency

Between the July 15 to the April 16: From Turkish Type of War on the Masses to the Turkish Type of Presidency

In this series of paper, I will try to show the clashes between the sovereigns of Turkey starting from the coup attempt to the fraudulent referendum that was held on 16th of April 2017. The series is planned to be three parts. First series will be on what I call a kamikaze type of coup attempt on 15th-16th of June 2016. Second series will be on the period that is between the coup and referendum. Last series will be about the fraudulent referendum that took place on 16th of April 2017 and the prospects for the coming days.

For those who are not familiar with recent Turkish politics, here is a timeline.

- February, 2015: Failing of peace process, rupture of the talks between PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) and the Erdoğan’s government.

- 7th of June 2015: General Election, it took 80 MP’s of pro-Kurdish party (HDP) to the parliament, Erdoğan’s AKP (Justice and Development Part) lost the majority to form a government by its own. The party also gave two MP’s as minister to the provisionary government.

- 20th of July 2015: Bombing in Suruç near Kobane (Syria border) causing more than 30 young leftist activists. A group called Dokumacılar having ties with Isil is held responsible. However, the opposition groups charged Turkish police having ties with the organizing of bombing.
- 26th of July 2015: Turkish warplanes started heavily bombing PKK’s controlled areas in Southern Kurdistan, North of Iraq.
- 7th of July-1st of November 2015: Talks between the main opposition party (CHP-founder of which is Mustafa Kemal) and the AKP to form a coalition government produced no results, it ended with calling another general election.
- 10th of August 2015: The court decided to the capturing of well-known prosecutor of Ergenekon trial Zekeriya Öz who secretly escaped to the Germany after learning the decision.
- 1st of November 2015: General election took place. AKP got 51 percent of the votes reaching the majority to form a government by its own. The new cabinet included Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak as the energy and natural resources minister.
- 24th of November 2015: A filo of Turkish Air Forces attacked a Russian warplane near Syrian border causing two Russian pilots to die. This was recorded as the first attack of a NATO member state to a Russian force since 1950s.
- 28th of November 2015: Assassination of the most prominent international Kurdish lawyer, human right activist Tahir Elçi in a demonstration in Diyarbakır/Amed. Hundreds of thousand people marched in his funeral.
- From September 2015 to the March of 2016: Heavy urban warfare (trench wars) between YDGH- youth wing of the PKK mainly in Kurdish towns near to the Syrian border and Turkish state. The Turkish police, the army and paramiliter groups including radical Islamists attacked with heavy weapons to the Kurdish towns and caused thousands of young militants of PKK to die, more than 500.000 Kurdish settlers left their homes according to the HDP.
- 11th of January: More than 1000 scholars and academics signed a petition that defined the state as a murderer. It was joined by prominent philosophers as Chomsky, Zizek and Butler, calling the government to end the war immediately in Kurdish towns.
- 13th March: Ankara car bombing attack causing more than 30 civilians. PKK linked group TAK claimed responsibility for the attack noting that they targeted the riot police, expressed sadness for the civilian deaths.
- From March-June: Under the influence of Erdoğan Turkish courts decides trustees should govern oppositional companies, newspapers and HDP owned municipalities. Gulenist supporters were under attack. Prime Minister A. Davutoğlu conflicted with Erdoğan causing his removal from the ministry after a note published in a blog called “Pelican Document”. A Turkish columnist (Hilal Kaplan) who is close to Erdoğan and known for her provocative pro-polarizing columns said to write the note. Neo-ottomanist academics Davutoğlu’s cabinet is replaced with Erdoğan’s puppet Binali Yıldırım.
- Prime Minister A. Davutoğlu and General Commander in Chief Hulusi Akar held a meeting and condemned allegations of a move in the army in March.
- International newspapers started writing that the army is uneasy with Erdoğan and the government.
- July, 2016:

A well-known Turkish columnist of Kemalist newspaper Republican Can Dündar went abroad telling that he do not have life safety in Turkey. He was under investigation before he went to the Germany with the accusation of servicing state secrets, the news of weapon aid of Turkish intelligence to the Syrian opposition.

Newspapers started writing about that there is going to be a charge against the Gulenist officers in the army before the 15th of July coup attempt.

I wrote this one after three or four days of the coup. This will be the first series of the paper. According to the reactions, I will decide to publish or not the other series.

Smells like a Grotesque Clash: Old Turkey’s Kamikaze Coup Attempt vs. Neo-Ottomanist Jihadist’s Counter-Strike

The Event

On 15 July, after the evening and accelerating by the midnight, people in some parts of Turkey -mainly in Ankara and İstanbul- has seen an unusual militaristic mobility across the western part of the country. Jets flied around, tanks were on the roads and troops went onto the ground. The elements of the government as if they were ready for that kind of an attempt reacted immediately by mobilizing its police, “supporters” and all the available resources to repulse the attack-even the imams were ordered to recite sala from the mosques in Turkey until morning under the flying jet noises of supersonic. It emerged by midnight that it was mainly some elements of the army (mostly air and naval forces, very limited support from land forces command which is 65 percent of the Turkish army) which has long been a right wing Kemalist organization, a NATO ally, and seen itself as the defender of the “regime” was taking “non-hierarchically” the action with nearly no declared support from the civil dissidents even after the proclamation on Turkish State Channel (TRT) at midnight.

The group calling itself as the “Peace at Home Council” denounced the corrupt government and declared martial law by promising to make a seemingly liberal constitution. The proclamation had no direct attribution to Turkish identity but stating the importance of keeping the unity of country. It is also promised that there would not be any discrimination against any group, ethnicity and etc. The proclamation evokes the “address to the youth” text of the founder of Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal (the father of all Turks) that was written for calling the Turkish youth to defend the country against any possible internal as well as external attacks or enemies. It is kept being said that one third of top military officials (generals) along with lower status military people ranging ideologically from Kemalists to Gulenists that are united against the policies of the government and the parliamentary were taking part in the event which can be called as a kamikaze kind of coup.

Who involved in the event?

During that night, those who joined the kamikaze kind of coup attempt seemed to be successful by attacking top intelligence and police (which is supposedly close to the government side) stations killing nearly or more than hundred officials including both civil and armed ones. But, it seemed to be unsuccessful by not to have captured, killed or caused any government representatives to exit the country including the president Erdoğan.

The attempters could not able to move ordinary soldiers even to the streets because the pro-government police organization with the human shields had gun battles with the army across country and able to retreat the army back and detained most of them by the morning. However, the attempters kept strategic areas as airports, bridges like bosphorus and strategic road junctions for some hour and attempted to takeover and to attack some government buildings and so called civil companies servicing for national communication (TURKSAT and TELECOM) or natural gas pipe lines by airstrikes.

Indeed, ordinary soldiers were pushed to these places that there was a military exercise or terror attack. At the same time, highly professional militaristic commandos were in a mobility to attack strategic pro-government elements of the state including police organization, special units and even Turkish intelligence service (MİT). Furthermore, they attacked the hotel in Marmaris where President Erdoğan was hiding that is said to have escaped just 15 minutes before the attack had begun. When president Erdoğan has shown up via FaceTime in the CNN Turk, he immediately called his “supporters” and the people to the street to counter the coup attempt or what they choose to call at first the rebellion. Thousands of them went to the places where the tanks were located (boshphorus bridge and some military and civil places which has high importance). Ordinary people have not gone to the streets, but some of them have taken action against the military people.

All these clashes had occurred between 9 pm until early morning which caused hundreds to die including higher police officers, military people, and top ranked civil supporters of Erdoğan and obviously paramilitary Islamic elements and rightists who went to the streets with the call of Erdoğan including curious ordinary people. Those who went to the streets also called and marched for sharia law and for jihad in some places during that night. Although some fractions of the dominant class would happy to see that people from different identities both ethnically (mainly Turks and Kurds) and religiously (mainly Sunni and alawite people) in Turkey to clash with each other, it basically did not occur but some kind of outburst was reported against Syrian migrants, some Kurd and alawite neighborhoods. Also, we can say that it is once again seen that soldiers and ordinary people had no problem with each other despite a few of the soldiers were lynched and murdered by the paramilitary supporters of government which are doubted of having ties with the ongoing Syrian war. However, the single event mainly characterized the coming days after the event: the bombing of the parliament in Ankara.

The need for getting united against enemies?

The need to unite the nation against both internal and international so called enemies was the main impetus behind the clashes between kamikaze coup attempters and jihadists counter-strike. It is obvious that those who support status quo and alliance to the Western bloc have been defeated with the counter-strike. Now, the fractions of the bourgeoisie try to blackmail against each other, to frighten ordinary people and to take new positions via their international counterparts. While Turkey’s Kamikaze coup attempt showed preliminary glimpses of an internal war in Turkey- mass killing, martial law-, the Ottomanist Jihadist counter-strike showed the possible ways to handle with the issue- lynch, call for sharia-. The fractions of the bourgeoisie had one thing to say in common: the parliamentary should work (although it is basically under the hegemony of the ruling party and Erdoğan) and this coup attempt was mainly against the parliament-that is against to the will of the people which is an illusion.

Is there a way out for ordinary people or how to understand the inter-clash among the fractions of the bourgeoisie on both national and international level?

Although nearly all parties and unions from different strata denounced the “coup attempt”, mostly the leftists kept their critics against the dictatorship of the ruling party and Erdoğan who they blame for the ongoing crises in Turkey. After ten days, right and left nationalists and the Islamists seemed to have formed a weak opposition against the “coup” which is thought to be managed by Fethullah Gülen and its supporter-the USA. They prioritized the main enemy as Gulenists, PKK and the USA and had no words for allegedly ISIS’s attacks in Turkey.

It is obvious that the newly formed nationalists group against coup try to divide mainly working classes as well as to marginalize dissident Kurds or Alawite’s, radical leftists no matter they had openly declared to be against any militaristic intervention. It is also important to see that the bourgeoisie in Turkey and their counterparts is reluctant to confront the ISIS in Turkey and try to play ISIS against armed Kurds. However, with the deepening crisis both economically and politically; it can be expected that ordinary people in Turkey would face more clashes than the coup kind of attempts and counter-strikes. It now emerges with the declaration of state of emergency by government that thousands of civil servants including syndicalist and academics from left had been fired, soldiers were being tortured and workers living conditions are being threatened with a possible civil war. No matter what the conditions are, the developments in Syria and the rising tendencies among NATO members would necessarily open new ways to form allegiances between the oppressed of this world. The only way to counter global mass destruction is uniting and acting on a global level in a coordinated manner.

1 Esthetically but melancholically recited by imams from the mosques that informs believers coming of death of somebody which advise Muslims to pray for god and perform prayer before they die.

2 Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, has once indicated that there should be “peace at home, peace in the world” which is the motto of mainstream nationalist in Turkey for international policy.

3 It is obvious that the government headed by the Erdoğan was in a hurry to get close with Israel and Russia before the days clashes began. There was a NATO summit in Warshow one week before. The red line of Turkey in Syria which is the Kurdish passing to the west of Euphrates had been realized. The next red line is the crossing of Menbic area of ISIS which is now being under attack by the organization headed mainly by PYD (Kurdish wing of the PKK) and supported by the coalition.

4 Furthermore, during the march for “democracy” on that night, there was an attack to the commemoration statue built for those died because of suicide attack of ISIS related groups in Ankara on the 10th of October 2015 causing more than hundred peace activists to die.

Posted By

Apr 22 2017 16:11


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