ANKARA, (BM) – Turkish pro-government commentators are fanning a debate about conspiracies to overturn the government in order to distract from internal problems and target the opposition, reports The National.
Almost four years after the failed coup on July 15, 2016, pro-government supporters speculate on a possible second attempt to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which was disputed by independent observers quoted by the publication
The article notes that talk of a conspiracy against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) began after Erdogan accused the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in early May of “still wanting coups and the junta.”
The publication recalls that four governments in modern Turkish history were overthrown or forced to resign as a result of coups and military interventions. About 241 people were killed and 2,194 were injured during a coup attempt in 2016, when factions of the Turkish military launched an operation in large cities to overthrow Erdogan.
After the president’s last comments in May, pro-government commentators began talking about a possible coup, often without stinting in expressions, the article says.
“You say,” we will overthrow Tayyip Erdogan, we will execute him. “How do you protect your wife, your children from us? For one drop of Erdogan’s blood, the blood of millions of people will be shed,” said journalist Fatih Tezkan.
However, Ersin Ramoglu, Sabah columnist, said last week that the religious movement Fethullah Gulen, which the AKP accuses of attempting a coup in 2016, is still strong enough in the Turkish state to start a new attempt to overthrow the government, the newspaper said.
“They still exist in the army, the press, the police, the bureaucracy, municipalities and in politics,” said Ramoglu.
But Ahmet Evin, an experienced political scientist and senior fellow at the Istanbul Political Center, told The National that it was hard for him to believe that any faction could challenge the government after many years of purges following the coup attempt.
“This is really confusing, because who in the army can do something like that?” He pointed out.
In addition, MP from the CHP, Murat Emir, called talking about new coup attempts a means of combating government critics.
“Under the current government, every opposition figure who claims the need for change is accused of hinting at a coup,” he told the publication.
The article also stated that last month, Erdogan accused the mayors of URPs, who wrested control of the country’s largest cities from the AKP in the local elections of 2019, of using their positions to create a “parallel state”, as they launched their own assistance programs during the pandemic coronavirus. These comments sparked speculation that the president might be preparing to seize the municipalities of the URP, as Kurdish-led municipalities in the south-east of the country have already been selected.
At the same time, talk of a coup is a diversion at a time when the Turkish economy is struggling to overcome the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, said Aykan Erdemir, senior program director of the Democracy Protection Fund in Turkey.
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