By Gareth Jenkins
July 15, 2021
Five years after the July 15-16, 2016, failed coup attempt that enabled Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to consolidate his authoritarian rule, many of the questions about what happened that night remain unanswered. Nevertheless, the regime’s narrative about the putsch has become the foundation myth for what Erdoğan and his supporters claim is the emergence of a “New Turkey” – the global defender of the world’s Muslims and a regional superpower, which is constantly thwarting Western plots to undermine it. But not only is this narrative deeply flawed but it is clear that the regime is hiding something. The only question is whether it is complicity, incompetence or both.
By Toni Alaranta (vol. 8, no. 11 of the Turkey Analyst)
Can the Islamic-Conservative, utopian state project endure? This is the crucial question as Turkey approaches parliamentary elections, to be held on June 7. The whole political system is at stake. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his most enthusiastic “New Turkey” zealots are going to push their utopian Islamic-Conservative regime forward, to the very limits allowed by the international system. The Islamic-conservative utopian state project in Turkey is not yet exhausted.
Ahmet İnsel in Cumhuriyet writes that the purpose of the attacks that were carried out against the premises of HDP in Adana and Mersin was to provoke HDP supporters and incite them take to the streets. Cengiz Çandar in Radikal writes that Turkey has lost its immunity to Salafism by acting as a sponsor of the Sunni radicals in Syria, in concert with Saudi Arabia. On the occasion of the death of Kenan Evren, the general who took power in the 1980 coup, Fatih Yaşlı in Yurt notes that Evren fathered today’s “New Turkey” by putting the current neoliberal-Islamic regime in place. Mümtazer Türköne in Zaman similarly observes that Evren’s regime, with its oppressive institutions, is still in place. He also notes that Evren was responsible not only for the coup but also for the wave of assassinations and massacres from 1978 onwards that preceded it and was used to legitimize it. İhsan Dağı on the Diken news site writes that if HDP crosses the threshold to parliament in the upcoming general election, it will restore the faith in competitive democracy, by demonstrating that change by normal ways is still possible in Turkey.
By Halil Karaveli (vol. 8, no. 9 of the Turkey Analyst)
The Islamists no longer occupy the moral high ground in Turkey. And Islamization has at least to some extent ceased to serve the interests of Turkish capitalism. Yet what beckons is not the disappearance of the Islamic factor from Turkish politics, but its irruption in new, uncontrolled form. The legacy of the “New Turkey” – the catchword of the AKP regime – is a portentous exacerbation of sectarianism.
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.