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July 15: Political Economy of a Foiled Coup

Turkey has suffered from interventions and enforcements against its elected governments, on the average, in every decade. Against this background, this study presents an assessment of the political economy of the foiled coup attempt on July 15, 2016 via the main theoretical approaches developed to explain the relations between economy and military coups. In this context, the study looks at the economic background of the pre-coup attempt period, crises scenarios serviced by international institutions and the goals of the perception management orchestrated by the western world for the attempted coup. In the same breath, the study presents in detail the FETÖ’s colossal economic power amounting to billions of dollars. The main conclusion is that the July 15 coup attempt was perpetrated to prevent an interruption in flow of financial resources into a murky network of business enterprises around a messianic cult.

July 15 Political Economy of a Foiled Coup
The world’s largest suspension bridge (59 m) and the longest suspension bridge with a rail system (1908 m) was inaugurated on August 26, 2016 as the third bridge across the Bosporus. AA PHOTO / ONUR ÇOBAN

Introduction

After a long respite from the era of regular military interventions, a military coup d’état was staged to interrupt democratic life in Turkey on the night of July 15, 2016. A large network of military officers; military-civilian bureaucrats; and members of the business world, academia and the mass media affiliated with the Fetullah Gülen Terror Organization (FETÖ) has been confirmed as the group of perpetrators who plotted and attempted the coup. 

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