Adnan R. Khan writes: There has been a curious reversal playing out in the days following last Friday’s coup attempt in Turkey. The coup failed, but Turkey’s ruling AK Party has acted in ways that bear an unsettling resemblance to those who have succeeded in a coup attempt.
Successful coups — the one in Pakistan in 1999, for instance, as well as the more recent Egyptian coup — have some common denominators: in the days that follow, the putschists stoke nationalist fervour to legitimize their rule. They flood the streets with supporters and fire them up with appeals to patriotic duty. They warn of an abundance of danger, both within and without, to justify the mass arrests that inevitably accompany a coup and the state of emergency that follows it.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has deployed all of these tactics so faithfully that it now appears two coups hit Turkey last week. One , the military version, failed spectacularly; the other, an institutional coup, appears to be a whopping success.
Erdogan’s critics are either detained, on the run, or laying low, hoping the storm passes. The media landscape, already crippled by years of government crackdowns, is all but broken. No one now dares engage in any semblance of critical debate, and if they do they risk their careers. According to Amnesty International, in the wake of the coup attempt more than 20 news websites have been blocked, another 25 media agencies have had their licences revoked, while an additional 34 individual journalists have had their press passes cancelled. All in less than a week. [Continue reading…]