The military coup in Turkey… Is it a question about it or incitement to do?


Ali Bakker

March 31, the leadership of the Turkish General Staff posted a statement on its website, which dealt with what it said was a journalist allegations, affected the military institution and related to attempt in doing  a military coup, and the existence of individuals within the military follow the «parallel entity» in reference to Fethullah Gulen’s movement.

In the statement, the army has denied decisively his intention to carry out a military coup in the country, stressing that the Turkish army is committed to the country’s constitution, work under it in all the difficult circumstances in various parts of country in order to protect the people from risks. The statement also stressed that the unconditional discipline and obedience of its elements and its work according to the principle of commanding sequence, noting that this is what enable the army to not be breached the chain of command or be exposed to danger.

The leadership of the Turkish general staff pointed that the allegations circulating the army have different motives far from reality, threatening of prosecution for both whom trading and promoting such allegations. Despite that the army did not specify in his statement the press allegations which it replied on, it is clear that the statement was made to respond to two types of allegations: the first one promoted the presence  of elements follow  the Parallel Entity ” as called in Turkey” inside the army institution planed to do a military coup against the leadership and   the country, the second one is inflammatory, it called the military institution to coup against the political power and hold the reins of power on the ” Egyptian way” as it said.

Incitement or query?     

On 21 last March, the (American Enterprise Institute) centre, published an article by  Michael Rubin titled ” Would there be a military coup against Erdogan?” the content of article was not a question as much as it was a clear incitement to do a military coup, Michael Rubin after being elaborated to explain the appropriate reasons to do military coup, throughout his melancholic depiction of political, economic and security situation in Turkey, and at the end will lead to civil war and the division of Turkey. He pointed out that the analysis confirms that the army could turn against Erdogan and put him and his circle behind bars, and survive without any consequences, he called the Turkish army to imitate ” the plan in Egypt”, stressing that no one in the world would not object or intervene to protect Erdogan ” if it happens”, (evidenced by what happened in Egypt, and based on what happened in Turkey during the previous coups).

This article has raised the case of controversy and confusion among the Turkish public, especially in social media. Some considered it as an indicator of the presence of something prepared in Washington to achieve this coup, by the evidence that the article comes from there, and Michael Rubin is not just a writer, he is a former official in the US Department of Defense and still give academic lectures to military personnel who are sent to the Middle East. He also published two articles on 28, 31 March after this article, in one of them he compared Turkey to Pakistan and said that Turkey became Mediterranean Sea Pakistan, and said in the other it could not defeat ISIS as long as Erdogan is in power, and it seems to be a systematic attack on political power in Turkey.

Others considered it as a start signal for elements of Parallel Entity inside the army to move and carry out the coup, especially that Rasim Ozan Cottahaile ( a writer in a government  newspaper Sabah), published an article at 27 March, only six days after the Michael Rubin’s article, in which he referred to the pilot who shot down Russian aircraft belonging to the Fethullah Gulen’s group, and he did that to tense the relationship with Russia, pointing out that there are reports indicate that about 50% of the pilots of fighter jets the Turkish «F – 16» belonging to the Fethullah Gulen’s group,  and they must be excluded through military Shura meeting this summer, and if Hulusi Eckard ( Chief of staff) tried to stall or debate, he will be forced to resign immediately.

The data have changed

Turkish army played a very bad role in a political life through long decades, despite the popularity enjoyed by the army, the intervention in politics was a bad factor helped the deterioration of the country to an unprecedented level, especially in the military coups period. In 1960 the Turkish army overthrew, Adnan Menderes, the first head of government democratically elected in the Turkish Republic, it judged and executed him with two of his ministers, followed by the 1971 coup that overthrew Suleiman Demirel, then the bloody coup of Gen. Kanaan Ephraim in 1980, which paved the way for a constitution in 1982, and finally the coup in 1997 against Necmettin Erbakan.

  Advocates of a military coup in Turkey today do not understand that much of the data that allowed the army to do so without any obstacles or consequences has changed radically in just over a decade, especially through constitutional amendments, the most important amendments in 2004 and 2010 which paved the way for the detection of coup attempts by the military, also it opened the way wide to hold them accountable judicially and on those famous historical coups that have made previously by them, which led to open several issues about planning and attempting to stage a coup against the Erdogan government, as a matter of Orgnkon network and the issue of the Cage, which was tried tens of generals, hundreds of officers and other elements on charges of attempting a coup against the AKP government. 

“National Security” composition

Subsequently has been changed the National Security Council composition for the sake of civilians and headed by a civilian, and take several measures which reduce the army’s role to the maximum extent in politics. 17 July 2013 was the adoption of the article 13 amendment of the Internal Military Service Law and related to the army’s role in the constitution, and which it has been used many times to justify military coups in the country under the pretext of the army’s role in the  protection of country’s secularism from internal threats, while this article identified, in accordance to the amendments that have been done, the army’s role and the mission of the armed forces to defend the homeland and the Republic toward external threats and dangers. This amendment has ended the political role of the army and fully subjected it to civilian political leadership.

These data pushed up the Republican People’s Party (the biggest opposition party in the country) through its leader Klajaddar Oglu, to the declaration of its categorical rejection of any interference of the army in the democratic process in the country, and the confirmation of the role entrusted to the army by itself in the statement issued recently, pointing out that the intervention of the army means re-scene that prevent the progress of Turkey’s 80 years.

He pointed out that the mentality of the army leader have changed a lot from what it were in the past, noting that the army has distanced itself from interfering in politics since 2007, and it doesn’t want to repeat its intervention in politics, because it is perfectly aware of the heavy price to be paid by Turkey as a result of this coup, the logic and the level of consciousness of the Turkish army has changed drastically.


This was orginally published in Arabic in Al-Qabas- Al elqteroni.

* The Position Papers  expresses the opinion of the writer and not necessarily the opinion of the Centre.

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