Turkey’s day after

I don’t have a lot of updates to offer on last night’s attempted coup and I don’t have a whole lot of time to offer them, but here are the high points:

  • Barring the coup equivalent of a miracle, this attempted coup is over and Erdoğan is the winner
  • Everything I’ve seen about the coup plot itself suggests that it was poorly, maybe hurriedly, conceived and badly executed, but the plotters’ biggest mistake may have been underestimating Erdoğan’s popularity and the extent to which the Turkish people would be willing to come out to defend him, and/or to defend the very concept of a civilian Turkish democracy (though, let’s be fair, Erdoğan is no big proponent of democracy either)
  • At least 265 people have been killed–there’s no breakdown in terms of coup-plotters vs. civilians (though Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım referred to 161 “martyrs,” so the balance may have been pro-coup casualties)
  • There have been some purges and arrests; over 2800 military personnel have reportedly been “detained,” and over 2700 judges have been removed from duty (and some of those have been arrested as well)
  • It remains to be seen how far Erdoğan is prepared to go in purging the government, his provocative rhetoric of a few hours ago notwithstanding–it is possible for a regime that survives a coup attempt to go too far in punishing suspected plotters and wind up causing a much more serious coup down the road
  • Erdoğan is, of course blaming everything on the Gülen network, as you do, really whether it’s true or not, but in this case there’s a decent chance he’s on to something
  • Consequently, Erdoğan is demanding that the US extradite Gülen, who lives in Pennsylvania and has been resident in the US since 1999, back to Turkey to face charges–a demand that the Obama administration is reportedly “considering

UPDATE: Turks have taken to the streets again tonight to protest against the attempted coup. Unfortunately, some of them also have reportedly taken to the streets, at least in Istanbul, to attack Kurdish and Alevi neighborhoods and businesses owned by Syrian refugees. The airbase at Incirlik, a main launch point for American/coalition airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, remains closed as part of a nationwide grounding of military aircraft, and speaking of aircraft, the FAA has suspended all flights between Turkey and the US for the time being.


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