My first impression of the failed coup in Ankara and Istanbul is that, despite the hundreds of dead and wounded, it was not quite for real: the plotters did not try to kill or capture Erdoğan and his key lieutenants, to incapacitate the security forces, to destroy AKP offices, and to neutralize the Erdoğan-loving imams. (And they failed to put a face on the operation.) The rebels, it seems, caused quite a few civilian casualties, but forgot to take care of Erdoganists in key positions of power. They resorted to violence but misdirected it in obvious ways.
All in all, either the coup was led by Erdoğan’s trusted agents-provocateurs or Erdoğan’s security services provoked a group of discontented officers into an ill-planned putsch. On the other hand, it is possible that the attempt was a desperate move by soldiers angry at Erdoğan for a perceived betrayal of the army – it could have been his latest change of course in Syria.
Now the path has been cleared for Erdoğan to change the constitution and become dictator-for-life.
Twitter is spewing out incantations like “democracy” and “will of the people” and “brave and courageous Turkish citizens” and all sorts of self-righteous claptrap from varied sources. Look, Iran is a democracy. It has elections, parties, and parliamentary debates. Do you want that for Turkey?
Democracy is worth anything when it ensures certain fundamental rights and liberties: “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” An Islamic democracy, by virtue of being Islamic (unless the term refers to some enlightened branch of the faith, like Ismailism going mainstream), cannot protect the rights of individuals.
By the way, this is democracy in action in Turkey. Islamist savages cutting the throats of young conscripted soldiers involved in the coup attempt.