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Turkish journalist, blogger and media expert. Writes regular columns for The Arab Weekly and contributes to Süddeutsche Zeitung, El Pais and the Guardian. An European Press Prize Laureate for 'excellence in journalism' in 2014, Baydar was awarded the prestigious 'Journalistenpreis' in Germany by Südosteuropa Foundation in February 2018.
If we are all heading for a full-scale world disorder these days, no analysis will be convincing enough without offering insight on what happened to Turkey, a strong NATO ally, a year ago. At the first anniversary of the failed coup, a key issue to look deeply into is how severely the backbone of the Turkish army was broken against the backdrop of an unprecedented, massive purge it was subjected to.
In Turkey, the public is successfully kept under hypnosis by a mighty pro-Erdoğan media, which kept claiming without proof that the mother of all evil was the Gülen Movement, declared as a terrorist network by President himself. But the reality suggests that the uprising a year ago was the work of officers whose affiliations were mixed.
Transcripts of WhatsApp messages among the coup plotters that fateful night reveal that the putschist group in Istanbul called itself 'Yurtta Sulh' in a reference to a well-known maxim by Turkey’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, that goes, 'Yurtta sulh, cihanda sulh' (peace at home, peace in the world). The choice suggests that there could have been a mix of disgruntled Gulenists, Kemalists, and ultranationalist soldiers among the plotters. As for the smoking gun — an order coming from Gulen’s Poconos headquarters — we haven’t seen that as yet.
While the main bulk of Turkish opposition is kept busy trying to prove that they are not 'FETÖ', Turkish army is at its weakest ever. Some experts suggest that in 2016 there was a 38% shrinkage in the number of generals in the 350,000-strong Turkish Armed Forces.
In a fascinating 'deep insight' Leela Jacinto explains how Erdoğan and his close circle forged an anti-West and pro-Islamist alliance with some murky forces in Turkey, and sheds light on signs that a 'parallel army' named SADAT is in the making.
An utterly alarming report.
'A year after a botched coup that changed modern Turkey’s history, the old postwar order is at stake.'