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July 15: The Glorious Resistance of Turkish Democracy

On 15 July 2016, Turkey experienced a milestone in its political history. An entity, judicially and officially recognized as the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ), operating through a group of its disciples nested in the Turkish military, attempted to overthrow Turkey’s legitimate and elected government. Several important and unprecedented factors prevented the coup d’état. Among them, the determined and courageous approach of the ruling AK Party, in solidarity with its opposition; the heroic resistance of the people of Turkey, the Turkish police, and members of the Turkish armed forces; the anti-coup stance of the judiciary; and the democratic posture of the mainstream media. The foiling of the coup attempt will contribute tremendously to Turkish democracy in many respects. In short, the democracy in Turkey in the post-July 15 period will emerge stronger than ever before.

July 15 The Glorious Resistance of Turkish Democracy
 

 Introduction: Turning Points in the History of Turkish Coups

The history of Turkish coups is a long one. Turkey experienced several military interventions in the Ottoman era, which either resulted in the elimination of colleagues close to the Sultan and meeting the demands of the rebels, or the dethroning of the Sultan. While some of the dethroned Sultans were put away to prison, others were killed. And even though the old military was replaced with a military of European standard during the reign of several sultans, this still did not prevent military interventions. Indeed, in 1876, at a time when it was said that a coup was not possible, Sultan Abdülaziz was dethroned by a military coup. According to some historians, this was the first coup of modern Turkey.1

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