so, what happened in the last 24 hours?  well, only the violent, predictable, and depressing inevitable.

for some context, please read the first part of this series.  

the inevitable purge began.  almost immediately.  thousands of military personnel, allegedly belonging to the faction of the military that launched the coup attempt were arrested.  well, that may be understandable.  but, 2,745 judges and prosecutors were also arrested in a matter of hours for their involvement with the coup attempt.  2, 475.  wait, i should repeat it again: 2,475.  two immediate questions come to mind:

  1. who will they replace the 2,475 judges and prosecutors with?  does the turkish government have a secret stash of 2,475 qualified judges and prosecutors in a cold storage somewhere?
  2. how did they find 2,475 judges and prosecutors linked to the coup attempt in a matter of hours, while they couldn’t even name who was leading the coup and what was happening within the first 12 hours of the revolt?  the fighting allegedly ended in the morning, and, within a few hours comes the arrest of the 2,475.  military personnel– perhaps i can understand– the coup attempt was the work of a faction of the military they say, for what it is worth, so it may be a little bit easier to find who belong to the faction.  but judges and prosecutors?  how can you diligently investigate, review, and decide which 2,475 to arrest in a matter of hours whilst in a state of crises?  feels like the wish list of 2,475 was made long before the coup attempt.

mr. erdogan, almost immediately, re-requested, actually demanded, the extradition of fethullah gulen.  which was also inevitable as i wrote yesterday.  as a matter of fact, many denizens of the turkish social media think that one of the major reasons behind the attempted coup, which they call “theatrics”, was the extradition of mr. gulen.  mr. gulen, of course, denied any involvement with the coup attempt whatsoever.  now, i am no fan of mr. gulen andthe jury is still out on that one.

mr. erdogan’s revolutionary guard finally emerged en masse.  as i wrote yesterday, in the first public statement he made during the coup attempt, mr. erdogan called his “followers” to the streets, despite a curfew imposed by the government— it was a call for battle.  and the followers heeded.  turkish media (and social media) is full of videos and photos of these fine gentlemen armed to the teeth, with their jihadist beards and battle cries, executing soldiers on bridges, beating up people, raiding stores, screaming jihadist mantras, and firing their guns indiscriminately.  there were reports of them raiding cafes where alcohol is served, bothering people at parks, and other assorted tehran behavior.

mr. erdogan’s revolutionary guards’ demeanors, outfits, facial hair, and speech, if you can photoshop out the istanbul background and turkish license plates (for that matter anything turkish) from the photos and the videos, are straight out ISIS jihadists photos.  which should not be all that surprising given turkey’s notorious history with ISIS militant recruitment.

one really fears this will be the revolutionary guard of the caliphate of turkey; albeit with a very ironic use of the word “revolutionary”– someone tried to start a revolution (that’s what successful coups are generally called), and, the jihadist who stopped it could perceivably become the revolutionary guard.

there are already calls from the government controlled media (as if there was any other form of major media in turkey) for pardoning all the “crimes” of these patriotic heroes during the coup attempt.  which, basically, translates to legitimizing this jihadist militia.

the death toll is still up in the air.  the numbers are very, very minimized according to anecdotal reports.  but, that’s the way it always is in turkey.

the FAA  put a ban on flights between turkey and the united states almost around the same time the turkish airlines, whose slogan, ironically, is “widen your world”, put out the strangest press release i have ever read from an airline, boldly stating that “with the unflinching will of the people, turkey has waken to a new day with a much stronger sense of democracy and freedom”, while citizens were summarily executing fellow citizens in the streets.  then, the press release claimed, “upon the call of our president his excellency recep tayyip erdoğan our operations at istanbul atatürk airport is now back to normal and flights have begun”, while all the flights to their top international market, the US, were grounded.

thy basin duyurusu

mr. erdogan quickly started expanding his powers as permitted (and perhaps even as not permitted) by the turkish constitution.  which was also inevitable as i wrote yesterday.  as a matter of fact, many denizens of the turkish social media think that another one of the major reasons behind the attempted coup, which they call “theatrics”, was the expansion of mr. erdogan’s powers, resulting in the executive presidency he pines for.

and a good majority of turkey is still at shock– this was unlike any coup d’etat in turkish history.  as a matter of fact the world history.  coup’s are never faceless– immediately at their inception, someone, a face, a human being (or human beings) take responsibility.  didn’t happen here.  the names of the conspirators were released at least 12-hours after the fact.  how was the government this prepared (with a detailed list) for the purge after the coup?  and, who really was behind this coup attempt?

conspiracy theories aside, this coup is immensely benefiting erdogan: he is expanding his powers, purging anyone who may stand in his way (and, this is not his first purge– it feels like now they’re purging the leftovers), legitimizing his revolutionary guard, gaining more confidence among his supporters while instilling more fear and terror on his opponents, has a good shot at getting gulen back for vengeance, and a decent shot at the executive presidency, ie. absolute power.

to the credit of the conspiracy theories, at last night’s speech at the istanbul ataturk airport, mr. erdogan seemed to aware of his windfall– he exclaimed to his followers, in a moment of excitement, “Eninde sonunda şu anda bu hareket, Allah’ın bize büyük bir lütfudur”, which translates to “after all, this coup attempt is a great gift from allah to us”.

i fear, if he really feels that way, the worst is still yet to come.