There is no doubt. What happened on last July 15, 2016 was a military coup attempt against the Turkish government. The democratic wisdom requires people condemn any coup against elected governments. In this regard, coup failed, and this is an important acquisition for Turkey. The whole narrative dramatically changed in the following day. History has given Turks only less then 24 hours to enjoy their brave unity against a military coup.
Then a bigger “earthquake” has started. In political theory, coup is a major event. However, there are other events in the lexicon of political theory, which are comparatively more important than a coup. As of today, the utmost critically happening event in Turkey is no longer coup. It failed. Today, the major event that dominates the fate of Turks is regime change through revolution.
The events unfolded by the coup on July 15, 2016 transformed Turkey into a setting where a new regime is emerging. This is 1979 of Turkey, reminding almost 1979 of Iran as a textbook case. R. T. Erdogan, the Turkish President, is pretexting the failed coup in his regime change agenda. Turkey as we know has passed away on 15 July 2016. It was the modern Turkey that was created by a difficult and complex reformist activism that started in early 19th century and ended up with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. More simply, 15 July 2016 was the date when Atatürk’s modern Turkey passed away and what we are witnessing is the birth of Erdogan’s Turkey. The calculus of political science is simple like mathematics.
In mathematics 3 is bigger than 2. Similarly, in political science, regime change is more critical issue than a coup. Thus, the point that we should focus on is the nature of new regime in Turkey. Turkey’s nature is changing. Turkey’s political characteristic is changing. It is certain that Erdogan’s new Turkey will be a kind of Islamic one, though it is early to understand how this Islamism will be defined.
In terms of its political outcomes, what we observe in Turkey is a kind of populist Islamic revolution. What we see in Turkey is a per se revolution. Like the Iranian Revolution of 1979, people are on the streets. Like Khomeini, it is Erdogan who translates peoples’ energy into a concrete format of new political regime. Seculars and moderate nationalists helped Erdogan in defying the latest coup. Helping a government facing a coup is naturally good.
However, they remind us the role of TUDEH party in Iran during the 1979 Revolution and its aftermath. If Erdogan consolidates his regime, the Turkish nationalists and seculars will gradually loose their power and even appearance as it happened to TUDEH and other secular factions who helped Khomeini during the revolution in Iran. That is why I compare Turkey with Iran in 1979.
This is an alla Turco Islamic revolution in 2016. Soon, we will observe how Turkey will be re-formatted according to the Erdoganist paradigm. In this paradigm, traditional Turco-modernist patterns would never be fundamental dynamics. Then it is a matter of time to see and learn how new Turkey would look like: A moderate Islamic regime? An alla Turco Islamic regime? Or another lumpen Islamic regime?
*For personal reasons, Vocal Europe decides to publish this piece by applying a cryptonym for the author’s name.