Why Coup Attempt in Turkey Failed

  • Comments - 16 July 2016, 22:15
The attempt at military coup by a group of military in Turkey has failed. The authorities have arrested around 1600 people.

There were several military coups and attempts during the history of the Turkish republic. The successful coups were in 1960, 1971, 1980 and 1997. In addition, those in 1971 and 1997 were a little different. The military gave an ultimatum to the authorities which agreed to resign.

The attempt of July 15 is similar to the coups in 1960 and 1980. Experience shows that it takes three things to succeed: take control of strategic facilities, control communication and isolate everyone who do not take part in the plot and may resist, as well as do it very fast. Last night the initiators met only the first condition.

During the 27 May 1960 coup by the medium-ranking officers the chief of staff, commander of land forces, later the president of the country Jelal Bayar and several other key officials were arrested.

During the 11 September 1980 coup the police leadership was arrested, the leaders of all the big political parties were isolated, including Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel. The entire action took 2-3 hours.

On 15 July 2016 the “traitors” isolated only the chief of staff Hulusi Aqar. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, the army leadership who did not support the plot, the leadership of the security agencies which were loyal to Erdogan were in freedom.

Although the participants of the coup had taken the building of TRT, the national television, and published the statement on coup, they were not able to take under their control the communication media. In particular, Erdogan used Facetime to call on the people to take to the streets and resist the intention of the military. Obviously, the people’s resistance was a surprise to the military, and they did not have a plan. This was one of the reasons for their failure.

 Some high-ranking officials, including the minister of defense, condemned the actions of the participants of the coup, which demonstrated their isolation. The initiators of the coup did not control the information flows. Modern technology that did not exist back in 1960 and 1980 complicated the coup.

It is also interesting that Prime Minister Yildirim said the coup failed even before the message on the coup on TRT. Further developments showed that the organizers and participants of the attempt soon lost control over the situation, were isolated and surrendered at dawn.