It Was Not a Coup

explosion in turky July 15 capped from livestream
Dateline Turkey

Probably the worst attempted coup in modern history. Mark Thatcher could have done a better job, but there were one or two surprises that will deeply affect Turkey’s relationship with the EU.

What will come as the biggest surprise to many was the mass show of support for democracy. Not for Erdogan, for democracy itself. Many of those on the streets support the coup’s broader objective of removing Erdogan from power – but they want it done at the ballot box.

This was the complete opposite of the pro-EU anti-brexit demos we saw on the streets of London a fortnight ago. Demos that forced us to rain on their pareade.


The show of support for democracy from the Turks was an altogether different affair from the lovey-dovey Euro-hugs we witnessed from trustafarian girlies and their white knight wish-makers in London in June.

Yesterday we saw Turkish men in large numbers willing to put their lives on the on line for the idea of democracy, rather than the often obnoxious leadership it produces. That kind of thinking is not welcome in the leaderboss-oriented EU of Consumers.

The July 15th coup attempt was totally misjudged and had no support. The media, the opposition, the police, the Kurds, and the great mass of the people all opposed the coup. To the extent that unarmed mobs tackled the troops themselves in a display of people power not seen since, perhaps, the failed Soviet coup a quarter of a century ago.

John Kerry, Say What

While John Kerry, speaking from Moscow, gave a vague response along the lines of “we don’t care who is in power in Turkey so long as they don’t change the policies we impose“, wider support for the coup from abroad was as equally absent as it was at home.

The coup’s methods also left a lot to be desired: Make a statement on the telly, blow up the police HQ. Did they have any other elements to this plan? Like, for example, telling people who they were?

They, the coup’s inept plotters, obviously haven’t been paying the same kind of attention to recent social media oriented methodologies that we have. At the we covered both the Egypt (2013) and Ukraine (2014) coups and compared their methods, in particular the up-front denial of the “This is not a coup” message and the widespread use of social media.

This lot handed CNN, one of the world’s worst broadcasters, a news coup of its own when they took CNN off-air. Only to forget to pull the plug, leaving the cameras running from the CNNTurk studio as some random guy walked in, sat down in the anchor’s chair, and made some personal calls on his mobile live on air.


That was the public face of the attempted coup. Is it any wonder that…

Erdogan’s Back

Erdogan has already proven himself adept at manipulating social media in the past, and his well-crafted skype call seems to have hit home with the younger, and hence tougher, Turks.

erdogan historic sykpe call

The coup leaders, meanwhile, seem to have wanted to stay in the background, 20th Century style, leaving the Internet new-media field wide open for pro-democracy supporters and hence Erdogan’s exploitation.

The Three-Hour Coup

In a social media dominated world a coup has to hold power for the first 72 hours to be successful. Power, for those who recognise what it is, was out of Erdogan’s hands for around three hours. He won it back when he made his speech from the airport, watched live by millions, while nobody even knew who the coup leaders were.

That’s power.

For three hours power was up for grabs, and the coup leaders failed to sieze it. The people siezed it back, and returned it to their elected representive, largely irrespective of whether they will vote for him again or not. Three hours. That’s pathetic. Even worse than the anti-Chavez attempted coup by so-called ‘business leaders’.

The conspiracy theory community, ever-ready to draft the first version of anti-history, had it’s tin-foil false flags out for Erdogan within 90 minutes of the coup’s kick-off. That’s how poor a coup it was.


The good news is that Turkey are clearly a democratic people, in spite of having poor leadership. Welcome to the club.

The bad news is that succeed or fail the coup could only have made things worse from the outset. Another step on the Black Sea region’s descent into all-out-war.


How we live-blogged previous coups:

Egypt: The Sugarcoated Coup
Ukraine: Espreso TV

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