Turkey coup: All your questions answered

A section of Turkey’s military on Friday (15.07.2017) tried to overthrow President Tayyip Erdogan who has been in power since 2003. If the coup is successful, it will be a significant power shift in West Asia, already struggling with failed states, internal strife and the threat from ISIS.

Here we try to answer what you want to know about the latest Turkey coup:

Who is behind the coup?

It does not seem like the entire Turkish military is behind the coup. And given the fact that the bid has been faltering a few hours in, it is almost certain that there are some sections who do not want to see the back of Erdogan yet.

turkey, turkey coup, turkey coup explained, what is turkey coup, erdogan, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Coup DefinitionTurkey coup: A military aims his weapon on top of a tank during an attempted coup in Ankara, Turkey. (REUTERS photo)

Why a coup?

Erdogan has comfortably been in power for well over a decade and has brought in a lot of reform to the Turkish establishment and society. The military sees itself as upholders of Kemalism, the form of democratic nationalism and secularism ushered in by founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923. Erdogan on the other hand is considered an Islamist and conservative.

Turkey coup: A man waves a Turkish flag in front of Ataturk Airport during an attempted coup in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/IHLAS News Agency ATTENTION EDITORS - EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. TURKEY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN TURKEY.Turkey coup: A man waves a Turkish flag in front of Ataturk Airport during an attempted coup in Istanbul. (Source: Reuters)

Did the coup have widespread military support?

For the coup to have succeeded it required backing across the armed forces. A large number soldiers may have been involved, and in several Turkish cities.

Tanks took to the streets and the bridge across the Bosphorus in Istanbul was taken over.

But the chief of staff, Gen Hulusi Akar, was not part of the coup, nor was the head of the army in Istanbul, who took command while Gen Akar was being held by the plotters.

The navy chief and special forces commander also spoke out against the uprising and F-16 fighter jets attacked some of the rebel tanks.

“This attempted coup collapsed before it even started,” said Fadi Hakura of UK-based Chatham House, who said it was amateurish and failed to attract broad military support.

There was no political or public backing either. The opposition secular CHP said Turkey had seen enough coups and did not want “these difficulties repeated”. The nationalist MHP also rallied behind the government.

Will the coup succeed and why not?

At the moment, it seem the coup has lost its momentum and failed. Erdogan also seems to have the support of the public and maybe a section of the military too. Also, thousands of people took to the streets in favour of the democratic Erdogan government.

turkey, turkey coup, turkey coup explained, what is turkey coup, erdogan, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Coup DefinitionTurkey coup: People react as bodies draped in Turkish flags are seen on the ground during an attempted coup in Ankara, Turkey.(REUTERS photo)

Could it have all been planned in America?

President Erdogan has for years accused a former ally, Fethullah Gulen, of plotting against him. The pair fell out and Mr Gulen went into self-imposed exile into the US.

And it did not take long for the president to blame “the parallel state”, a clear reference to his rival.

The Gulen movement itself denied involvement. A pro-Gulen group said it found the attempted coup “strange and interesting” but rejected any attack on democracy, fearing renewed attacks on its movement.

However, the government quickly acted to suspend five generals and 29 colonels who they said were linked to the “parallel state”, Turkish Anadolu news agency reported.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube blocked in Turkey during reported coup attempt


The Turkish military has deployed in Istanbul and Ankara, and the government has apparently blocked social media in response to what is being reported as an attempted coup.

Turkey Blocks, a Twitter account that regularly checks if sites are being blocked in the country, reported at 11:04 PM Istanbul time that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were all unresponsive, though Instagram and Vimeo remained available. Access was restored after about an hour-and-a-half, according to the research agency Dyn Research.

World leaders reaction

Boris Johnson, the British Foreign Secretary, said he was “very concerned” by events in Turkey. “Our embassy is monitoring the situation closely,” Mr Johnson said in a message posted on Twitter. “Brits should follow FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) website for advice.”

Barack Obama, the US president, spoke by telephone with Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday night about events in Turkey and agreed that all parties there should support the democratically elected government, show restraint and avoid any violence or bloodshed, the White House said.

“The Secretary underscored that the State Department will continue to focus on the safety and security of US citizens in Turkey. The President asked the Secretary to continue to keep him updated as the situation unfolds,” the White House said in a statement.

Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary-General, appealed for calm as the world body sought to clarify the situation in the country, said a UN spokesman.

“The Secretary-General is closely following developments in Turkey. He is aware of the reports of a coup attempt in the country. The United Nations is seeking to clarify the situation on the ground and appeals for calm,” said spokesman Farhan Haq.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urged “restraint” in Turkey, while Moscow was “deeply concerned” about the situation, the Kremlin said.

“Moscow is deeply concerned about the news coming from Turkey,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, adding that President Vladimir Putin was being constantly informed of new developments by the Russian foreign ministry and intelligence services.

A Nato official at alliance headquarters in Brussels said they were “following events closely,” but said he had no other comment.


Final result of a Turkish coup:

More than 1,500 rebels have been detained after their failed military coup that killed at least 90 and wounded more than 1,000 as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed revenge for the bloody uprising. 

Erdogan made his triumphant return back to Istanbul after his forces quelled the coup on Friday evening, as he warned that the members of the military behind the plot to oust him would pay a ‘heavy price for their treason’.

The rebel army faction – who call themselves the ‘Peace Council’ – said they were trying to overthrow the government to ‘protect human rights’ and restore democracy from Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, AKP, which has repeatedly faced criticism from human rights groups and Western allies over its brutal crackdowns on anti-government protesters.

However, Erdogan has blamed his old scapegoat, Fethullah Gulen for orchestrating the uprising. Muslim cleric Gulen, the president’s rival who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, U.S. as the head of a billion dollar religious movement, has often been blamed for political unrest in Turkey.

Since 2003 he has been able to make himself one of the most powerful president in the country ever, and this make him more authoritarian. But now after Turkish coup failed the President Erdogan will emerge more and more powerful.