July 22, 2016

Turkuler Isiksel on the Turkish Coup and Its Aftermath

Network member Turkuler Isiksel (Columbia) was born in Turkey but left to attend university in Edinburgh, later receiving her Ph.D. from Yale. She recently gave an interview to the Columbia News, entitled "5 Questions on the Unrest in Turkey", which may be of interest to the readers. The first Q&A is excerpted below and the remainder of the interview can be found here.

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 Q. Turkey has had a number of coups since 1960. What makes this latest one stand out from the others?

A. There have been two direct military takeovers of the government, in 1960 and 1980, and two ultimatums issued by the military that brought down the elected governments of the time in 1971 and 1997. Each must be understood in context, but they all reflect the Turkish military’s self-understanding as the guarantor of the republic established by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk [Turkey’s first president, from 1923-1938.] In each instance, coup leaders viewed themselves as empowered to decide when the republic was in danger and how it needed to be defended, even if they had no legal authority to step in. Unlike those four instances, however, the July 15th coup attempt appears to be the work of a rogue clique within the military. [continue reading here]

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