At least 260 are dead and 1400 injured following a military coup on Friday night in Turkey, a NATO member.
Turkey says the coup attempt was carried out by members and supporters of the Gulen Movement, a Sunni Muslim group led by Erdogan’s arch-rival, Fethullah Gulen, who currently lives in self-imposed exile on a compound in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. A Gulen-linked group called the Alliance for Shared Values has denied involvement in the coup attempt.
Gulen however, said he condemns the coup, and disavowed any connection to it. Nato member states were quick to condemn the action as well.
The failure of the military coup, mounted while Erdogan was out of the country, will allow him free reign to repress, imprison or exile those resisting his implementation of Islamism in what was a thriving secular state.
The military coup was attempted in defense of Turkey’s secular constitution, which guaranteed separation of mosque and state, and granted civil rights to women. It’s failure will mean the Islamist President can quickly undo the remaining secular changes in place since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
pulled Turkey from the wreckage of World War One, abolished the caliphate, suppressed fanatical religious orders, gave women legal rights and social protections, banned the veil, promoted secular education for all citizens of Turkey, strongly advocated Westernization and modernization…and promoted a democratic future.
The coup attempt was reminiscent of the ouster of Egypt’s Mohammed Morsi by Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi in July of 2013. El-Sisi’s victory stopped the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of that country.
But the failure of Turkey’s coup will give renewed vigor to Islamist repression in Turkey. In a week when the aims and methods of Islamism are on stark display, the hopes for the survival of democracy in Turkey have been all but extinguished.