Turkey’s 15 July Coup Attempt: A Year Later
I witnessed the 9/11 attacks in New York. I cannot forget the terror wreaked by the collapse of the Twin Towers.
I was an eyewitness to destruction and terrorism in Iraq, the suffering caused by the US invasion that followed 9/11.
I will never forget the bombings and massacres in Gaza either.
All of these scenes of pain and suffering only became worse with the Arab uprisings. The political fault lines triggered by the invasion of Iraq created ripples across the region. Dictators fell, but as soon as the order set by World War I was on the verge of collapsing, regional powers took action in Syria to suffocate the peoples’ demands for change.
If the Syrian revolution had not been halted, neither Egypt, nor other countries in the region would be as they are today. In the Gulf, a debate could have been started around emerging constitutional monarchies. But that’s not what happened.
Months before the July 2013 coup in Egypt, I wrote from Cairo that Egyptian liberals needed to understand that Tahrir was a good place for sending messages to Egypt and Morsi, but not the place to do politics. If they carried on this way “two inexperienced parties . . . playing with fire”, I warned that Egypt might find itself in the middle of a coup.
‘A coup every decade’
Could something similar have taken place in Turkey? The last coup, known as “the February 28th process”, was in 1997. It was a bloodless version of what happened in Egypt on 3 July. Military officers and “civilian elements” moved into action, Western capitals looked the other way, and an elected government was forced to resign.