With the failure of the attempted coup of 15 July, the true danger begins now: an attempt to transform the de facto presidential system into overt fascism with the support of a racist and reactionary militant mass movement buoyed by the rhetoric that the “coup was thwarted by popular resistance”
And so there you have it: a coup attempt by the “Peace in the Homeland Junta” that was composed of unknown elements and whose ultimate reach into the state was unclear has been thwarted. Over 100 putschists were killed, and 3,000 active officers have been detained.
The fact that the putschists’ first act was to detain the top commanders suggests that the coup’s priority was to strike a blow at the commanding echelons of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). The coup was the continuation of a battle within the mechanism of state power.
Both the attempted coup and the movements to “thwart the coup” are not initiatives “from below.” The putative “civilians” who answered the government’s call to pour onto the streets are none other but the same mobile groups of Justice and Development Party (AKP) supporters under the control of the police that we have encountered previously in various lynching attempts.
The putschists declared a “line” designed to attract support from the United States and the European Union but failed to do so.
The coup plotters also appear to have been isolated politically. In declaring a curfew, they at once proclaimed that they would not attempt to attract active popular support for their actions. Despite displaying a “progressive, democratic and liberal” rhetoric in their communiqué, the putschists neither sought nor received any support from any civilian political power. No party in parliament approved of the coup attempt, and the left also withheld its support.
Forces from the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), the Special Forces Command and the Turkish National Police all played a strategic role in suppressing the coup, while counter-guerrillas did not participate in the putsch.
Ultimately, there was no possibility that a coup lacking US support and execution by counter-guerrillas would succeed.
Now, however, we are faced with the biggest danger: an attempt to transform the country’s present, de facto presidential system into overt fascism through a racist and reactionary militant mass movement that has emerged amid a narrative that “the coup was thwarted by popular resistance.”
Accordingly, it is of critical importance that progressive democratic forces hit the streets for equality, freedom and democracy to demand a “program of democratization.” All centers of progressive opposition and other democratic forces must call the populace onto the streets for an alternative to the government to resist the reactionary, fascist wave of aggression currently on the ascendance.
Now is not the time to wait with apprehension to gauge the direction of the winds of revanchist Erdoğanist fascism; now is the time for democratic forces to show that they can stand against all forms of reaction and fascism.
Follow Ferda Koç on Twitter @FerdaKoc. The original article “Zaman endişe içinde bekleme zamanı değil” was published by Sendika.org on 16 July 2016. This article is adapted from Sendika.org’s translation.