In the days after the attempted coup, or putsch, or whatever you want to call…whatever that was…there’s naturally been a torrent of information, misinformation, rumor, supposition, and analysis on what’s been happening in Turkey (including my two cents’). Some really good (e.g. Burak Kadercan, a very astute friend), some not so good (Tom Rogan, for example, is a bit naive). And then there’s Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institute via The Atlantic, asking whether it’s reasonable to expect the Middle East to ever sprout secular democracies (he has a good point).
I’m also starting to rethink the proposition that Ergodan planned this all along, for reasons some of the links below should make clear. This includes the behavior the putsch military personnel themselves–don’t watch the video of the tank running over people (it’s not the only video out there, fyi), but the behavior of the soldiers themselves makes no sense given their avowed mission. Anecdotally, I’ve heard through the grapevine that it’s widely believed/known in Turkey that Erdogan engineered things, and that, as a friend put it, they’re upset that Western media isn’t reporting on it. On the other hand, Işıkara, Kayserilioğlu, and Zirngast present some compelling reasons to the contrary, which make more sense to me–the putschists knew Erdogan was about to clean house, so had to launch the coup prematurely.
Here’s a list of items that I have paid special attention to:
My top picks:
- Burak Kadercan, Welcome to the Turkish Winter: The Great Purge is Just Beginning.
- Guney Işıkara, Alp Kayserilioğlu, Max Zirngast, What Happened in Turkey? [to an extent also qualifies as ‘on the ground,’ though that’s not the focus]
- Aykan Erdemir, from June 27, Turkey Needs a New Social Contract.
- Dani Rodrik, from 2014, If the Rest of the World Really Want to Help Turkey. [useful reminder on Gülenists, Gülenism, and Erdogan]
Eyewitness and on-the-ground reports:
- Lizzie Phelan, discussion thread that strengthens the impression that if Erdogan didn’t plan this, he certainly knew it was coming.
- Selim Koru, Turkey’s Last Coup: What I Saw in Ankara.
- Alev Scott, Turkey has defeated a coup–and unleashed a violent mob.
- [WARNING: Extremely graphic] Tank, looks like an M60, running over people in Turkey.
Analysis that suggests Erdogan planned it all:
- Humeyra Pamuk and Orhan Coskun, At height of Turkish coup bid, rebel jets had Erdogan’s plane in their sights.
- Matthew Karnitschnig, Erdogan’s ‘Reichstag fire.’
- Reuters, Turkey government seemed to have list of arrests prepared: EU’s Hahn.
- Press conference, Erdogan says they knew about military activity some hours in advance.
Traditional analysis that accepts the coup attempt at face value:
- See also Işıkara, Kayserilioğlu, and Zirngast above.
- BNE Intellinews, Turkish Army Shoots Itself in the Foot (again).
- Edward Luttwak [yes, he’s still around], Why Turkey’s Coup d’État Failed.
- Michael Crowley, Did Obama Get Erdogan Wrong?
- Ishaan Tharoor, An old-school coup fails to topple Turkey’s powerful president.
- Tom Rogan, How Erdogan is rolling the dice, and how/why America must stop him.
Financial analysis, because let’s not forget the important question of trade and international finance:
- Mehul Srivastava, Turkey will not intevene to support the lira, says deputy PM.